Commuters could face temperature checks after lockdown eases

COMMUTERS may have to take their temperature before leaving their homes when coronavirus lockdown restrictions are eased.

Proposals are being discussed on how to make public transport safe for passengers when they return to work. On Thursday, the Prime Minister will reveal the UKs lockdown exit plans including advice on social distanced work, travel and school.

The government aims to revive the economy while keeping the infection rates down.

Ministers are reportedly keen to avoid a repeat of crowded public transport when the restrictions were first implemented.

Asking commuters to measure their temperature before travelling is one of the approaches being adopted by other countries.

The Department of Transport alongside Public Health England are reportedly considering a similar approach.

A high temperature is a main symptom of Covid-19, therefore commuters with an inflated temperature would be advised to stay home.

Measures also being considered include the distribution of hand sanitiser at bus stations, encouraging people to wear face masks where social distancing is difficult, and signs warning passengers not to board a busy bus or train.

It is also reported that compulsory temperature checks may be implemented at airports.

Since mid-April, arrangements have been made to see an 80 per cent rail service run from May 18 in the event that lockdown is eased.

The health secretary, Matt Hancock, also set a deadline for mid-May for a new contact tracking system backed by a smartphone app.

Since the lockdown began, trains have carried only 5 per cent of normal passenger numbers. Most train networks are operating half timetables.

Train operators have told the Times that they are exploring options to avoid overcrowding including requiring passengers to book a timeslot online for busy trains.

Rail industry leaders are allegedly concerned about the lack of detailed plans from the Department for Transport and Public health England in terms of how to maintain safety.

One industry source told the Times: “There is a risk that public transport will be overwhelmed if the government doesnt provide clear guidance on how a balance can be struck between the need for people to return to work and the capacity available due to social distancing.

“Theres clearly a trade-off between social distancing and facial covering and that has to be considered.”

The source continued to say that a system of booking commuter trains was being considered.

They said: “There is emerging thinking that you may have to book a slot for, say, 8:30 to 8:45am and then turn up at that time and youll be able to get on a train.

“Its designed to regulate the number of people coming into the station or queuing outside at any one time while ensuring trains themselves arent full. it is a huge logistical exercise.”

It is also reported that motorists will be given guidance on how to safely return back to roads.

Senior lecturer in criminology at Keele University, Helen Wells, told The Times: “We want to do all we can to bring those messages together and give drivers the information they need to get back on the roads safely.

“Nobody wants to survive the current crisis only to end up as a road casualty statistic.”

On Friday, it was announced that there have been 739 more deaths of people with coronavirus, bringing the total to 27,510 in the UK.

On Thursday, the government announced it had carried out 122,347 Covid-19 tests, hitting its target of 100,000 per day by the end of April.


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