UK’s Gatwick Airport starts Ebola screening

20 October 2014 (Last Updated October 20th, 2014 18:30)

London's Gatwick Airport has started screening passengers for symptoms of Ebola, according to an announcement by the Public Health England (PHE).

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London's Gatwick Airport has started screening passengers for symptoms of Ebola, according to an announcement by the Public Health England (PHE).

The screening was started at the north terminal on Tuesday and will be extended to the south terminal on Wednesday. Later in the week, screenings will also be carried out at the St Pancras Eurostar train station.

Passengers having travelled from locations such as Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia will be screened by Border Force officers.

As a part of the procedure, travellers will have to undergo a temperature check and complete a questionnaire about their current health, travel history and whether they might be at potential risk through contact with Ebola patients.

"Public Health England will continue to consider other appropriate additional measures."

Based on the information collected from passengers, they will either be allowed to continue with their journey or go through a clinical check-up by PHE staff. If necessary, they will be transferred to hospital for further tests.

The Guardian quoted a PHE spokesperson as saying: "Screening is being undertaken to help ensure individuals arriving from high-risk areas know what to do if they start feeling ill, and can receive expert advice immediately.

"We are also providing all general practices, emergency departments and pharmacies in England with awareness posters from this week. Public Health England will continue to consider other appropriate additional measures."

It has been argued by Canadian researchers that screening on exit is the best way to stop Ebola-infected people boarding flights out of Africa. Last week, UK's Heathrow Airport also started screening as a precaution against the Ebola outbreak.


Image: The UK's Gatwick Airport has started screening travellers at the north terminal for Ebola. Photo: courtesy of Gatwick Airport.