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London Heathrow boss calls for global health screenings

written by Adam Thorn | April 6, 2020

The chief executive of London’s Heathrow Airport has called for the introduction of global standards of passenger health checks.

John Holland-Kaye raised the prospect of thermal screening at airports similar to checks for liquids and laptops, which he said would “provide reassurance and confidence in flying”.

When asked about the use of infrared cameras at other airports, he told The Times, “That’s something you would see at other destinations and people assume that must be a higher level of testing than Public Health England does.

London’s Heathrow Airport has called for the introduction of health screenings to combat COVID-19 (Heathrow)

“Public Health England has obviously looked at this and decided that it’s not appropriate for testing, but I can completely understand why passengers would wonder why they saw cameras at the airport where they got on the plane but didn’t see them when they arrived.”

Temperature sensors have been introduced at Singapore Changi and Milan Bergamo recently, to monitor for fever, a key symptom of COVID-19.

While opinions vary as to its effectiveness, the World Health Organisation would appear to be in favour of more airport checks.

This year, the organisation said the majority of exported cases of novel coronavirus “were detected through entry screening … The risk of importation of the disease may be reduced if temperature screening at entry is associated with early detection of symptomatic passengers and their referral for medical follow-up”.

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