Heathrow Airport Expands Passenger Screening Policy

Doctors remain in Heathrow Airport immigration halls implementing the latest coronavirus screening advice

heathrow airport

The UK Chief Medical Officer for England issued updated public health advice for international travelers returning to the UK from specific areas affected by coronavirus disease known as COVID19.

As previously announced on February 20, 2020, enhanced monitoring will still be in place at London’s Heathrow Airport for direct flights to the UK from Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus outbreak.

In addition, the following countries have been added to the enhanced monitoring list, as of February 26, 2020:

  • Iran
  • Specific lockdown areas in northern Italy as designated by the Government of Italy, such as anywhere north of Pisa, Florence and Rimini
  • Special care zones in South Korea (Daegu, Cheongdo) as designated by the Government of the Republic of South Korea
  • Hubei province China

Public Health England (PHE) colleagues and doctors remain in Heathrow Airport immigration halls and will continue to follow the latest coronavirus screening advice.

And, if international travelers have returned from these areas since February 19th and develop symptoms, however mild, PHE says ‘you should stay indoors at home and avoid contact with other people immediately and call NHS 111.’ 

However, people do not need to follow this advice if they have no symptoms.

Those passengers arriving at any UK airport with questions or concerns should refer to the latest official information from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

As of February 26th, PHE reported a total of 7,132 people have been tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the UK, of which 7,119 were confirmed negative, with 13 positives for the COVID-19 disease reported. 

These figures now include 4 COVID-19 cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

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Additionally, PHE says it was now working with some hospitals and GP surgeries to conduct tests on some other patients. In eight hospitals, patients in intensive care with severe respiratory infections will be tested for the virus.

Recently, the Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 has been put in place in the UK to reduce the risk of further human-to-human transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus by keeping individuals in isolation when public health professionals believe there is a reasonable risk an individual may have the virus.

According to Reuters, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have canceled their flights between London’s Heathrow and China. But, Chinese airlines such as China Eastern continue to operate between the countries.

“We’ve not seen much impact on the number of people traveling,” Heathrow Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye told BBC radio. “We are doing reasonable precautions just to make sure people stay safe and are reassured.”

During 2019, a record 80 million passengers traveled through Heathrow airport, delivering the 9th consecutive year of growth for the airport.

In addition, Heathrow announced tough new measures to protect local air quality and reduce congestion in preparation for expansion. 

The airport will be launching a new Ultra-Low Emission Zone targeting older vehicles from 2022 before a wider Vehicle Access Charge is introduced for all passenger cars, taxis, and private hire vehicles, when the new Heathrow runway opens.​​​

Coronavirus outbreak news published by Vax-Before-Travel.