Passengers arriving at Heathrow Airport are lastly having temperature checks for coronavirus – virtually 4 months after the outbreak hit Britain.
However the thermal cameras screening, which started on Thursday, is being restricted to a trial in an immigration corridor at Terminal 2.
And the system displays the temperature of a number of individuals transferring via the airport, somewhat than testing people.
If profitable, it may very well be rolled out to different areas, together with departures, connections and workers sectors.
However Public Well being England has constantly insisted checking temperature of passengers “holds little scientific worth”.
The know-how at Heathrow is just like that used at many Asian airports.
Airport chief govt John Holland-Kaye known as for a “frequent worldwide customary” for well being screening at airports to be agreed worldwide.
He mentioned: “As one of many world’s nice buying and selling nations, the UK ought to take a lead in setting a world plan to reopen borders, when it’s secure to take action.
“This may assist shield hundreds of thousands of British jobs that depend on aviation, however are presently in danger.”
Gatwick Airport can also be believed to be contemplating a trial of temperature checks alongside different measures, together with social distancing, because of be introduced within the coming weeks.
There was anger over the dearth of checks on air travellers arriving within the UK, particularly from international locations with excessive charges of Covid-19 infections.
1000’s of Atletico Madrid followers had been allowed to journey to Liverpool for a Champions League recreation on March 11.
Well being officers have checked out a possible hyperlink between the inflow from the Spanish metropolis, which was already underneath a partial lockdown, and a later unfold of coronavirus within the Liverpool space.
Passengers arriving at Heathrow in January from the Chinese language metropolis of Wuhan – the seat of the outbreak – mentioned they weren’t screened.
A number of international locations, together with the US, Malaysia and Singapore, all required these travelling from Wuhan to have their temperature taken.
Earlier than the disaster, 80 million passengers handed via Heathrow every year.
Numbers collapsed by 97% in April, with simply 200,000 passengers in that month – the identical quantity it will usually serve in a day.
A supply mentioned the brand new checks had been as a lot about reassuring passengers who had temperature screening earlier than they acquired on the airplane overseas.
Plenty of different international locations have been testing temperatures of travellers in a bid to restrict the unfold of the virus, which has to this point killed 331,525 world wide.
They embody Singapore, the place simply 23 individuals have died from Covid-19, and South Korea, which has had 264 deaths.
Airways in North America and Asia have introduced obligatory temperature screening.
Air France mentioned it should now “progressively implement checks on all departures”.
It comes because the European Union Aviation Security Company this week printed tips that would seriously change the best way individuals fly.
Travellers should put on face masks. Airport operators ought to arrange interview cubicles for individuals with a excessive temperature to evaluate potential sickness.
However the EASA warned temperature screening is not thought of efficient at recognizing Covid-19 and is extra meant to “dissuade in poor health individuals from travelling”.
Public Well being England mentioned: “PHE has provided to work with Heathrow to assist design and consider a restricted trial of temperature screening. This may assist to tell the UK response.
“The UK has no temperature checks as they maintain little scientific worth as suggested by the Authorities’s professional advisory committee, SAGE. Professional recommendation is that screening would detect a really small variety of circumstances.”
The Division for Transport wouldn’t remark.
House Workplace officers are anticipated to verify particulars quickly of a 14-day quarantine on arrivals to the UK.