Ebola checks for incoming passengers are set to be extended to Manchester Airport if the threat level increases, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt confirmed.
Screening of arrivals from West Africa, where the disease has claimed 4,500 lives, began last week at Heathrow with plans to include Gatwick and Eurostar next week.
Research suggests that up to ten cases of Ebola could appear in the UK within the next three months.
Mr Hunt said: “No screening and monitoring procedure will be able to identify 100 per cent of people arriving from Ebola-affected countries, not least because some passengers leaving the countries will not be ticketed directly through to the UK.”
Posters in the airport will ask passengers who have travelled to an Ebola affected area in the last 21 days to make themselves known.
A spokesman for Manchester Airport said: “If we are instructed by the Government to accommodate the screening of passengers related to the Ebola outbreak, we will continue to play our part in ensuring passenger and staff safety at Manchester Airport.”
There are currently no direct flights to the city from the worst affected areas in West Africa however some airlines operating at Manchester do fly to them via other airports.
The screening process is likely to include passengers having their temperature taken but since the incubation period for Ebola is three weeks there are fears passengers could arrive without displaying any symptoms of the disease.
Prime Minister David Cameron earlier urged other countries to follow Britain’s example.
Naming Ebola ‘the biggest health problem facing our world in a generation’ he called on other nations to look at their responsibilities.
Image courtesy of Yolanda Chaotes, via Fickr, with thanks