London’s Heathrow airport is to start screening for Ebola among passengers flying into the UK from countries at risk.
A “handful” of cases – thought to be fewer than 10 – are expected to reach the UK before Christmas.
Screening will start at Terminal 1, before being extended to other terminals, Gatwick airport and Eurostar by the end of the week.
In September, around 1,000 people arrived in the UK from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa.
People flying from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea will be identified by Border Force officers.
Nurses and consultants from Public Health England will then carry out the actual screening.
Passengers will have their temperatures taken, complete a risk questionnaire and have contact details recorded.
Anyone with suspected Ebola will be taken to hospital.
Heathrow airport is to start screening for Ebola among passengers flying into the UK from countries at risk
Passengers deemed to be at high risk due to contact with Ebola patients, but who are displaying no symptoms, will be contacted daily by Public Health England.
Ebola has killed more than 4,000 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
A spokesman for Heathrow said the welfare of “our passengers and colleagues is always our main priority”.
He added: “We would like to reassure passengers that the government assesses the risk of a traveler contracting Ebola to be low.”
There is no direct flight to the UK from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea so people could arrive at airports that do not screen passengers.
Instead “highly visible information” will be in place at all entry points to the UK.
The Department of Health estimates that 85% of all arrivals to the UK from affected countries will come through Heathrow.
However, screening arrivals marks a rapid shift in policy from the UK government.
Just last week, it said there were no plans for screening as people were tested before leaving affected countries.
The WHO said it was unnecessary and that it would mean screening “huge numbers of low-risk people”.
Anyone in the UK with suspected Ebola will be taken to hospital and blood samples will be taken to Public Health England’s specialist laboratory for rapid testing.
If the test is positive, then the patient will be transferred to an isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London. It is the centre that cared for the British nurse William Pooley, who contracted Ebola in West Africa.
Hospitals in Newcastle, Liverpool and Sheffield are on standby to offer similar facilities if there is a sudden surge in Ebola cases. A total of 26 isolation beds could be prepared at the four hospitals.
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Passengers on a Singapore Airlines flight were left surrounded by a chaotic mess after their flight fell 20 metres when it hit severe turbulence.
A total of 11 passengers and one crew member were injured on flight SQ308 from Singapore to London last Sunday.
One passenger on the flight, who saw his coffee end up on the ceiling, managed to take pictures of the destruction which he posted to Instagram.
Alan Cross told ABC News that passengers had been warned to expect turbulence and that the breakfast service would be temporarily suspended.
A short while after the seat belt sign came on, the captain issued an abrupt order for all flight attendants to take their seats immediately.
Alan Cross said the subsequent turbulence felt “like being in an elevator with a cut cable or free-falling from some amusement park ride”.
He said everything that was not tied down, including people, hit the ceiling.
The airline told The Australian: “Eleven passengers and one crew member sustained minor injuries when the aircraft experienced a sudden loss of altitude and were attended to by medical personnel on arrival at Heathrow Airport. Seat-belt signs were on at the time and meal services had already been suspended.”
Within just an hour, the carnage had been almost completely tidied up and the plane was practically back to normal.
Alan Cross said: “The cabin crew was amazing in the aftermath, as were fellow passengers who helped everyone around them then in a calm and efficient clean-up.”
Passengers on a Singapore Airlines flight were left surrounded by a chaotic mess after their flight fell 20 metres when it hit severe turbulence
He said crew checked for injuries before cleaning up the mess and gave passengers boxes of chocolates as they departed at Heathrow, where they were met by paramedics.
The vast majority of passengers are not affected by turbulence on anything like this scale, but some research suggests that unsettled flights could become the norm thanks to global warming.
Earlier this year scientists claimed climate change could result in flights from London to New York getting much bumpier in the future.
Researchers from East Anglia and Reading universities analyzed supercomputer simulations of the atmospheric jet stream over the North Atlantic, concluding that climate change will increase air turbulence.
They found the chances of hitting significant turbulence will rise by 40 to 170% by 2050, with the likeliest outcome being a doubling of the airspace containing significant turbulence at any time.
Dr. Paul Williams from the University of Reading and the University of East Anglia’s Dr. Manoj Joshi said the average strength of turbulence will also increase, by between 10 and 40%.
He said: “Most air passengers will have experienced the uncomfortable feeling of mid-flight air turbulence. Our research suggests that we’ll be seeing the <<fasten seatbelts>> sign turned on more often in the decades ahead.”
BBC Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson sparked a new controversy by suggesting that long queues at airport control could be solved by “a bit of racism”.
Jeremy Clarkson said that delays were caused because immigration officials could no longer use their discretion to wave certain passengers through.
“Nobody is waved through any more. Immigration officials are not allowed to use their discretion,” Jeremy Clarkson said.
“Common sense has been erased from the system. And the result is plain for all to see. There’s a two-hour wait. And come the Olympics they’re saying that time frame will double.
“Net result: Immigration officials have to assume that the nice family of four coming back from their holiday in Sardinia is going to cheat the social out of millions then blow up during the 100 metres final.”
Jeremy Clarkson sparked a new controversy by suggesting that long queues at airport control could be solved by “a bit of racism”
Jeremy Clarkson then went on to say there is a possible solution to the problem.
“Nobody likes a racist. Nobody likes prejudice. It has no place at work, at play or on the terraces of a football stadium. It has no place at school, or in government.
“But at Heathrow airport? Hmmm.”
However, a spokesman for the Public and Commercial Services Union, which represents Border Force workers, said: “Clarkson is an idiot.”
Meanwhile, some Twitter users took to the social networking site to express their views.
Some said they agreed with his views. A woman known only as Alice said: “Jeremy clarkson (sic) has summed up what will go wrong this summer. GO JEREMY! He is brilliant.”
Jeremy Clarkson used his weekly column in The Sun to highlight the problem of long waits for those coming through border control at Heathrow airport.
He said that since security checks were tightened by Home Secretary Theresa May, officials have been prevented from only targeting those deemed “high risk”.
Jeremy Clarkson, who is no stranger to controversy and has become known for his provocative comments, hit the headlines in December after he suggested that striking public sector workers should be shot in front of their families.
The gaffe came when he appeared on the BBC’s The One Show during Britain’s biggest public sector strike for the past 30 years.
The BBC was also forced to apologize about an item on BBC2’s Top Gear which led to the Mexican ambassador complaining about the “outrageous, vulgar and inexcusable insults” made about Mexicans by Jeremy Clarkson and his co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond.
In February 2009, Jeremy Clarkson famously insulted then-prime minister Gordon Brown by calling him a “one-eyed Scottish idiot” – a reference to the fact he is blind in one eye.
The previous year the BBC also received nearly 2,000 complaints when Jeremy Clarkson joked about lorry drivers murdering prostitutes.