UV cleaning robots introduced at Heathrow

Ultraviolet (UV) cleaning robots are being deployed at Heathrow as the airport tries to encourage passengers to return to air travel.

The airport said the machines use UV rays to kill viruses and bacteria at night.

It is also using UV technology to continuously disinfect moving handrails, and coating surfaces such as security trays, lift buttons and trolley handles with a material providing long-lasting anti-viral protection.

UV cleaning robots introduced at Heathrow
A hygiene technician at the aiport (Heathrow Airport/PA)

Around 100 airport workers are being retrained to serve as hygiene technicians to boost cleaning and answer passenger queries on the methods being used.

Heathrow has previously introduced screens in security areas and in some shops, made face coverings compulsory and created one-way systems.

Just 350,000 people travelled through the airport last month, down 95% on June 2019, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to limit demand for air travel.

UV cleaning robots introduced at Heathrow
UV handrail cleaning technology on an escalator (Heathrow Airport/PA)

The quarantine requirement was lifted for people returning to or visiting the UK from around 75 countries and territories on Friday.

Heathrow wants arrivals from countries not on the list to be allowed to avoid self-isolating for 14 days if they pass a coronavirus test on arrival.

Chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “We have reviewed the entire Heathrow Airport experience to ensure that our passengers and colleagues are kept safe as travel resumes to ‘green’ and ‘amber’ countries.

“Now we need Government to safely restore Britain’s long-haul connections as the country prepares for life outside the EU, with common international standards for Covid testing from ‘red’ countries.”

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