Heathrow to begin temperature screening of passengers, Report

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Heathrow to begin temperature screening of passengers, Report
Heathrow to begin temperature screening of passengers, Report

Passengers flying into Heathrow airport will have their temperature checked – without even knowing it.

Other measures under review include UV sanitation to quickly cleanse the trays at security and procedures to reduce person-to-person contact.

The thermal screening technology is the first to be trialled and will start in the next two weeks in the immigration halls of terminal 2.

It will scan people as they move through the terminal and monitor their temperature – a fever is one of the commons symptoms of the virus.

If the trial goes well, the equipment will be rolled out to other areas such as departures and connections.

Air travel has plummeted since the pandemic began with the likes of British Airways and Virgin laying off thousands of staff.

Heathrow’s boss says the airport wants to help development of a new international standard to reduce the COVID-19 risk for travellers.

John Holland-Kaye told the Commons’ transport committee on Wednesday: “Aviation is the cornerstone of the UK economy, and to restart the economy the government needs to help restart aviation.

“The UK has the world’s third-largest aviation sector, offering the platform for the government to take a lead in agreeing a common international standard for aviation health with our main trading partners.

“This standard is key to minimising transmission of COVID-19 across borders, and the technology we are trialling at Heathrow could be part of the solution.”

Temperature screening is already being used in some other airports – Hong Kong is even testing out cleaning robots and a full-body disinfectant booth said to sanitise passengers’ bodies and clothes in 40 seconds.

It comes amid doubts about whether social distancing can work properly in crowded terminals.

Mr Holland-Kaye said earlier this week that it would mean kilometre-long queues to board each jet.

Heathrow’s boss warned that major UK airports simply do not have enough space.

“Forget social distancing, it won’t work in aviation or any other form of public transport, and the problem is not the plane, it is the lack of space in the airport,” he wrote in the Daily Telegraph.

“Just one jumbo jet would require a queue a kilometre long.”

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