Leeds Bradford Airport statement after Heathrow announces temperature testing

Leeds Bradford Airport has released a statement after Heathrow Airport announced that it will begin temperature screening of passengers.

The west London airport said it will launch a trial in the next fortnight involving cameras that monitor temperatures.

They will initially be used to monitor arriving passengers in Heathrow's immigration halls but could also be deployed in areas for departures, connections and airport staff searches.

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Edinburgh Airport also confirmed to the Edinburgh Evening News that it will also start testing the temperature of departing passengers in June.

Leeds Bradford Airport is following the latest government advice when it comes to temperature testing. Copyright: jpimediaLeeds Bradford Airport is following the latest government advice when it comes to temperature testing. Copyright: jpimedia
Leeds Bradford Airport is following the latest government advice when it comes to temperature testing. Copyright: jpimedia

Temperature screening of passengers has been in use by airports in some countries for several weeks.

A spokesman for Leeds Bradford Airport told the Yorkshire Evening Post that the airport is following the latest government advice.

The spokesman said: "LBA is working hard with the industry, airlines, government agencies and business partners to ensure that passengers and staff can return to the airport safely.

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"LBA and its partners are considering the full range of coronavirus procedures and technology."

However, England's deputy chief medical officer has suggested that temperature screening provides little more than a "reassurance mechanism" for the public.

Dr Jenny Harries told the daily Downing Street press conference on Thursday that about a third of people do not have a high temperature when they show symptoms of coronavirus.

Asked about widepsread temperature testing - such as that employed in airports in South Korea - to detect people who have Covid-19, Dr Harries said even with "reliable kit" the chance of detecting someone was "very small".

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Dr Harries said: "If you have a disease and it has an incubation period of up to 14 days, the likelihood of finding somebody at the points where they have a temperature and you have a reliable bit of kit - most thermal scanners would be distracted from environmental colour, density and temperatures as well - you need a reliable bit of kit, but even then your chance of picking somebody up is very small.

"But it can have a reassurance mechanism I think."

She added: "We want to catch people in the early phase of the disease where they are most likely to transmit, and not all of them will have a temperature."

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also told the daily briefing on Thursday that temperature tests were "not always an effective way of proceeding".

He said: "The evidence suggests there's not much point in taking those measures until the R level [the virus's reproductive number] is down below a certain point.

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"But as you start to get control of it, what you don't want is the virus re-seeding in the UK, the source of that being from abroad.

"That is the point at which you would want to consider monitoring at the border."

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