Revealed: Bournemouth Airport has installed ‘thermal fever detection’ cameras and will become the first UK hub to screen passengers for signs of coronavirus
- The tripod-mounted cameras have been fixed to the airport’s staff entrance
- They will soon be installed at the airport’s departures and arrivals terminals
- It is hoped the technology will remove the need to enforce social distancing
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Bournemouth Airport will become the first UK airport to start checking passengers for signs of coronavirus in a fresh blow to the Government’s decision to not screen arrivals.
Bosses have installed ‘thermal fever detection’ cameras that are capable of recording body temperatures and alerting border guards to anyone with a fever.
The tripod-mounted cameras have been fixed to the airport’s staff entrance but will soon be installed at every entrance to the airport’s departures and arrivals terminals.
Bournemouth airport will become the first UK airport to start checking passengers for signs of coronavirus. Pictured here is one of the ‘thermal fever detection’ installed at the airport
The system will automatically alert border staff to any passenger showing signs of a high temperature, allowing them to intercept and isolate travellers before they board a plane.
It is hoped the technology will help airlines by removing the need to enforce social distancing – a move that industry leaders have warned could push up ticket prices 50 per cent.
The action by Bournemouth Airport – which is used by 800,000 passengers a year – marks a significant departure from the Government’s controversial decision to not screen travellers.
The system will automatically alert border staff to any passenger showing signs of a high temperature
It comes after the Daily Mail revealed that the boss of Heathrow had written to Health Secretary Matt Hancock calling for a set of stringent screening measures, which could include temperature checks, antibody tests and a requirement that all passengers carry health passports proving they are medically fit.
Ministers say around 15,000 passengers arrive into the UK every day. Incredibly, none are tested for signs of the virus but are simply handed information leaflets about symptoms.
Critics say the lack of tests threatens the health of the nation and makes a mockery of the lockdown conditions opposed on the rest of the country.
The action by Bournemouth Airport – which is used by 800,000 passengers a year – marks a significant departure from the Government’s controversial decision to not screen travellers
Heathrow executive John Holland-Kaye wants an internationally-agreed set of screening measures to restore confidence in air travel.
The airport’s executives also want Public Health England (PHE) to release evidence proving ministers’ claims that temperature screening is ineffective.
PHE has insisted that screening measures are futile against a virus that can have an incubation period of up to 14 days.
However, airport bosses are anxious that the total lack of tests makes the UK’s airports appear more dangerous than others around the world, where strict controls are in place to identify and isolate passengers displaying symptoms.
The Mail understands that at least two other airports are interested in installing the same ‘thermal fever detection’ cameras that are being used at Bournemouth.
Last week, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the screening policy around airports is ‘under review’ and may change in the future.
Gatwick Airport has also confirmed that it is working with the Department for Transport (DfT) on possible screening measures, which may include mass temperature checks.
A spokesman for SCC, the IT firm supplying the thermal cameras, said: ‘By deploying this technology as part of a range of measures, airports can begin to reopen for business safely, reducing the risk of a second wave of Covid-19 cases and protecting passengers and employees. Thermal fever detection could also help airlines by removing the requirement to undersell occupancy to enable social distancing on flights.’