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06 Apr 2020 | 05:27 AM UTC

UK: London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR) to close two terminals April 3 /update 13

London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR) to temporarily close Terminal 3 and 4 April 3; confirm travel itineraries

health
transportation
GBR

Event

On Friday, April 3, officials announced that London's Heathrow Airport (LHR) will operate on a single runway starting Monday, April 6, due to a decrease in air passenger traffic amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As such, airport authorities also announced that Terminal 3 and 4's operations will be temporarily moved into Terminal 2 and 5 in the coming days and weeks.  

On Tuesday, March 31, British Airways representatives announced the temporary suspension of all flights to and from London Gatwick Airport (LGW). Officials previously announced that the north terminal of LGW will be shut down starting on Wednesday, April 1, while London City Airport (LCY) also suspended all commercial and private flight operations through the end of April. EasyJet airline announced that it will cease all passenger flights worldwide on Monday, March 30. The airline may continue to operate some repatriation flights at government request.

Hull Trains, a First group train operator, has suspended all train services effective March 30, until further notice.

As of April 6, there are 48,440 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the UK along with 4943 deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the general risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.