Heathrow Airport will begin checking passengers’ temperatures using thermal imaging cameras this week.
As part of a trial, travellers arriving at Terminal 2 will automatically be screened for fevers from as early as Thursday, Mail Online reports.
If successful, it is hoped that the measure could allow Brits to fly abroad without needing to enter quarantine to avoid the spread of coronavirus.
The cameras will be placed in the immigration hall, and can read temperatures from a distance of up to 8ft away using infrared sensors as passengers walk past.
If a high temperature is detected, they will emit a warning signal.
The measure comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last Sunday that all travellers into the UK will soon need to undergo mandatory 14-day quarantine under new plans to stop a second wave of Covid-19 infections.
Passengers arriving at airports will have to provide an address at which they will immediately self-isolate for a fortnight, with the threat of a £1,000 fine and even deportation if they fail to do so.
The announcement has sparked fears there will be no demand for holidays abroad this year, leading to calls for clarity from the tourism industry.
It would effectively mean Brits will have to take one month off if they want to go on a two-week holiday – two weeks for a holiday, two weeks in quarantine at home afterwards.
Airlines UK warned that the proposal “would effectively kill international travel to and from UK and cause immeasurable damage to the aviation industry and wider UK economy”.
It is understood that the government is now considering exempting some passengers from having to self-isolate, such as businessmen, freight drivers and doctors.
A source from the airline industry told Mail Online that there is “no logic” to the plan.
“If the Government said quarantining people is going to stop further spread of the virus, everyone would understand. But there is no logic and a complete lack of clarity,” they said.
Tim Alderslade, the chief executive of Airlines UK, said: “We support the use of exemptions that allow the safe resumption of travel as soon as possible.
“But it isn’t clear why business or any exempted category of traveller is safer than others if everyone is subject to the same health measure at and before departure.”
Many Asian airports already use cameras similar to those being trialled at Heathrow to conduct health checks before passengers can travel.
The airport has said that if successful, it may introduce more cameras to its departures, connections and staff search areas.
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