New coronavirus monitoring for flights to Stansted airport

Stansted Airport operators are making major investments in staff and facilities head of a busy summe

Stansted Airport operators are making major investments in staff and facilities head of a busy summer Picture: STANSTED AIRPORT - Credit: STANSTED AIRPORT

Enhanced coronavirus monitoring is being putting in place at Stansted airport by tomorrow – as Ryanair cut flights to Italy.

Until April 8 Ryanair will only run four flights a week to certain Italian destinations - down from an average of 62 flights a week - as the country is locked down.

The screening will include extra training for cabin crew and more information for people arriving into the country, but will not include temperature screening.

MORE: Suffolk coronavirus patient recently returned from Italy, officials confirm

If someone reports coronavirus symptoms on board a flight the pilot will call ahead and the passenger will be met by healthcare professionals as they get off the plane.

Enhanced monitoring is being carried out on all flights from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Italy and Iran.

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A spokesman for the Department of Health said: 'Expert advice suggests clinical entry screening (for example through temperature checks) would detect a very small minority of cases.

'This is because symptoms of Covid-19 do not usually appear until five to seven days, and sometimes up to 14 days after exposure to the virus.

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'It is far more important to make sure that individuals know, whether to self-isolate, what to do if they feel unwell and how to access appropriate healthcare quickly once they are in the UK, particularly while we remain in the contain phase.

'As part of this process all flights arriving from Italy are met with Public Health England (PHE) posters and leaflets at ports, available in 9 different languages. There is also a public health campaign at ports with clear messages on how to prevent the spread of the virus through hand washing which is specific to this novel coronavirus.'

A spokesman for Stansted Airport said: 'The safety and security of passengers and staff will always be our number one priority.

'We are following guidance from PHE. The vast majority of flights scheduled are currently arriving and departing as planned, with no changes to staffing levels or procedures.

'We will continue to work with PHE to help determine what further steps would need to be taken, should circumstances change in the future.'

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