Signs informing passengers of the new trial – Image: PA

Mirror Online: May 21, 2020 – Passengers arriving at Heathrow Airport are having their temperatures screened for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak.

A trial launched today will see cameras monitor the temperature of people at the immigration hall at Terminal 2.
These will be able to identify those who are unusually hot – one of the symptoms of the killer virus which has claimed more than 320,000 lives worldwide.

People will not be stopped in order to be screened, the airport says, as cameras can check multiple people at the same time.

Data will be shared with the government in the hope it can provide vital information about the spread of the disease.

Today Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said it could be the key to getting people flying again if it’s adopted by airports around the world.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “This mis-match of measures (across different countries) really confuses the travelling public. That’s exactly why you need a common international standard.

“We have followed Public Health England’s advice. Now we have started working with them to introduce this thermal screening. It’s not yet Government policy.

Staff wearing masks at Heathrow Airport – Image: Jonathan Buckmaster

“Many of our passengers are travelling all over the world, very often connecting, and we need to adopt a common international standard, not just a UK standard.”

Mr Holland-Kaye said he broadly supported a 14-day quarantine programme for anyone arriving in the UK from abroad, but firmly backed the idea of “air bridges” – meaning those from low-risk countries would not have to quarantine.

He said: “The Government’s got a tough job to do… If they think the quarantine is the right thing to do I think we have to go with that but it has to be time-limited and we have to plan for what comes next.

“The idea of air bridges… is a very sensible way of doing that.

“There is no perfect way to make sure only healthy people fly at this stage, so we have to take a risk-based approach.

“As the level of transmission comes down in this country and in other countries, we need to find a way that the vast, vast, vast majority of people who don’t have a disease can still fly.”

  • Top Feature Photo: Cameras have been set up identifying those with an usually high temperature – Image: © LHR AIRPORTS LIMITED