Yesterday (7 May) it was announced that some UK airports will require people to wear gloves and masks when travelling.
Manchester, Stanstead, and East Midlands airports are believed to be the first UK airports to introduce strict new rules for people travelling from and to their airports.
Manchester Airports Group (MAG) that owns the three airports said they would be trialling it over the next few weeks. They commented that the measures are designed to ‘demonstrate one way in which air travel can be made safe’.
The Metro reported that the airports would also be conducting temperature checks and considering making travellers sign a health declaration before allowing them to enter.
Each passenger will be scanned via a heat-seeking camera, which is located at Terminal One. Plus, the guidance for face-covering includes using masks, scarves, and other makeshift coverings.
MAG chief executive Charlie Cornish said: ‘it’s clear that social distancing will not work on any form of public transport. But we’re confident that when the time is right, people will be able to travel safely.”
Manchester Evening News reported that bosses have said this is a trial of the technology, and passengers will not be told the result of the scan. However, they plan to share the results with other airports to help produce a guide for future travel.
The group said the move is ‘designed to ensure that the small number of passengers currently making essential journeys through its airports feel safer and more confident about flying, as well as providing a further level of protection to colleagues working at the airport’.
This news comes as the UK’s busiest airport, Heathrow announced that it would be checking passenger temperatures, which is said to be a bid to encourage people to start flying again.
Heathrow’s Chief Executive, John Holland-Kaye, said they would trail technologies that may form a basis for international standards post Coronavirus.
He also urged the government to “help restart aviation”.
Mr Holland-Kaye said, “The UK has the world’s third-largest aviation sector, offering the platform for the government to take the lead in agreeing on a common international standard for aviation health with our main trading partners.
“This standard is key to minimising transmission of COVID-19 across borders, and the technology we are trialling at Heathrow could be part of the solution.”
However, the Prime Minster’s official spokesman highlighted that “It’s something we considered as part of our response to this pandemic and the advice of the scientific and medical experts was that it was not something that would be effective.”
Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs and Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University of Manchester, Ashley Woodcock, also stressed concern over these trails. Highlighting that around 3-5% of the popular are asymptomatic and have an average temperature but still could be carrying the virus.
He added, “I don’t see how temperature screening helps control cross-infection. We have to assume everyone is infectious and make sure our own protection is good enough.”