The British government has revealed that only passengers who have boarded a flight in the countries affected by the Ebola virus disease – Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria – with travel booked to the UK will be automatically flagged up to officials at passport control.
Out of the four affected countries, only Nigeria still operates direct flights to the UK.
These travellers will be asked to have their temperature taken and to complete a questionnaire asking about their current health and recent travel history.
The passengers will then be asked if they have come into contact with a person with ebola; if they have cared for anyone with a severe illness; if they have had any contact with dead bodies; and if they have visited any traditional healers or been admitted to hospital.
They will also be asked if they have any health problems such as headache, vomiting, diarrhoea, intense fatigue, bruising or unexplained bleeding.
The screening measures, which are expected to cost £9m over six months, are voluntary and passengers can only be forced to undergo them if they are showing obvious symptoms of illness. In this case legal action can be taken.
Currently, there is one member of administration staff and two Public Health England (PHE) officials carrying out the screening at Heathrow Terminal 1. Other terminals at the airport are expected to begin screening by the end of this week.
The government expects up to two flights a day to be carrying passengers from the affected areas.