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Coronavirus: Heathrow to start temperature checks on arriving passengers

Coronavirus: Heathrow to start temperature checks on arriving passengers

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

Britain’s busiest airport is deploying camera detection systems capable of monitoring the temperatures of passengers moving through the airport.

The screening technology will initially be used in the immigration hall of Terminal 2, which is one of only two currently open – the other is British Airways’ home, Terminal 5.

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If successful, the equipment will then be rolled out to departures, connections and colleague search areas. The trials will begin in the next two weeks in Terminal 2.

The airport is also assessing other technologies including UV sanitation and contactless security screening equipment to reduce person-to-person contact.

The chief executive of Heathrow, John Holland-Kaye, has been lobbying for international common health screening standards as part of the resumption of flying at scale.

He told MPs at the Transport Select Committee: “As an international hub airport we will need to follow an international standard and we are already required to carry out temperature checks by some other countries.

“Temperature screening was introduced following previous outbreaks of Sars and Ebola, with some countries using thermal checks as a control measure against Covid-19.”

Mr Holland-Kaye revealed the airport is “burning through £200m in cash every month,” but said Heathrow could survive without going bankrupt for at least a year.

The airport has cut one-third of its management team.

He also rejected the suggestion that the airport had offered airlines attractive terms to abandon Gatwick in favour of Heathrow, saying: “We want Gatwick to survive.”

Virgin Atlantic yesterday announced it would close its base at the Sussex airport, and British Airways has warned staff it may have to do the same.

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