Enhanced Ebola screenings to be introduced at Heathrow and Gatwick airports and Eurostar terminals
- Credit: Archant
Enhanced screening for Ebola will be introduced at Heathrow and Gatwick airports and Eurostar terminals following advice from the chief medical officer, Downing Street has said.
The screening will be introduced for passengers travelling from the affected regions – Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea – to give Britain an additional level of protection from the deadly virus.
The tests will involve assessing passengers' recent travel history, who they have been in contact with and onward travel arrangements as well as a possible medical assessment conducted by trained medical personnel.
A Downing Street spokeswoman said: 'Airport screening at airports in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea has been in place for some weeks to ensure all passengers leaving affected countries are checked.
'Further screening has been kept under review and advice from the chief medical officer is that enhanced screening arrangements at the UK's main ports of entry for people travelling from the affected regions will offer an additional level of protection to the UK. 'Passengers will also be given advice on what to do should they develop symptoms later.
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'As the chief medical officer's advice makes clear, these measures will help to improve our ability to detect and isolate Ebola cases. However, it is important to stress that given the nature of this disease, no system could offer 100pc protection from non-symptomatic cases. It is important to remember that the overall risk to the public in the UK continues to be very low, and the UK has some of the best public health protection systems in the world with well-developed and well-tested systems for managing infectious diseases when they arise.
'Contingency planning is also under way including a national exercise and wider resilience training to ensure the UK is fully prepared.'
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