Thermal News Roundup - Banner

The applications of temperature-screening thermal cameras are far-reaching. In April and May 2020 PASS Ltd published blogs detailing the implementation of Hikvision Temperature-Screening Cameras in Bournemouth Airport (BBC) and Carlton House Care Home (New Milton, Hampshire) in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Since then the BBC and ITV have reported on the use of temperature-screening thermal imaging cameras at Heathrow Airport, Portsmouth International Port, the offices of a tech company in Uxbridge, a sausage company in County Down (NI), and Albert Schloss, a pub in Manchester.

A Hikvision Temperature-Screening Bullet Thermal Camera, installed at a tech company in Uxbridge, and a Hikvision MinMoe Face Recognition & Temperature-Screening Terminal were included in an episode of BBC’s The One Show, which aired on the 9th June 2020; to view this episode, please follow this link. These Hikvision temperature-screening solutions were part of a feature about new technology that has been developed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. The report detailed the advantages of using temperature-screening thermal imaging cameras to help identify potential cases of COVID-19 at an earlier stage whilst advising that these cameras do not replace other social distancing measures.

One feature of the Hikvision Temperature-Screening Bullet Thermal Camera highlighted in the report is its ability to differentiate a human face from surrounding objects, for example, a cup of tea. This reduces the risk of false alarms as it will identify the person as the measurement target not the, potentially hotter, object. When an elevated skin temperature is detected, the Hikvision thermal camera will issue a voice alert, allowing staff to rectify the situation in accordance with the company’s policy.

The One Show’s feature also touched upon combined access-control and temperature-screening products, such as Hikvision’s MinMoe Face Recognition & Temperature-Screening Solution. In addition to checking staff for elevated skin temperature, the Hikvision MinMoe Terminal can verify whether an individual is a recognised face and will grant access to the room or building upon a positive result. Product manager, Lynn Zhang, explains that as these terminals include AI technology only one staff photo is required to enable face recognition.[1] The Hikvision MinMoe Terminal has a 99% face recognition accuracy and can even recognise staff wearing face masks. Furthermore, as illustrated on The One Show, the Hikvision MinMoe Terminal provides an easy way of maintaining company policy as it can be programmed to issue a voice reminder and/or deny access if a member of staff is not wearing a face mask.

Hikvision Temperature-Screening Bullet Thermal Imaging Cameras have also been installed at Bournemouth Airport, as noted in a BBC News report published on the 30th April 2020 [2] (see PASS’ blog about the report here). On the 22nd May 2020, the BBC published another report detailing the use of temperature-screening thermal imaging cameras at Portsmouth International Port and notes their use at some UK airports including Bournemouth and Heathrow.[3]

This BBC article explains that temperature-screening thermal cameras are being used at Portsmouth International Port to check departing passengers for elevated skin-surface temperatures, a possible indicator of fever which is a common symptom of COVID-19.[4] When an elevated temperature is detected, the thermal imaging camera will issue an alarm alerting the medical team who will decide whether the passenger is safe to travel.

Portsmouth International is the first port in the UK to implement these measures and advises that the cameras would be available to screen foot passengers on ferries and cruises when travel restrictions are relaxed. Brittany Ferries concurs that temperature-screening thermal imaging cameras ‘could be useful in the longer term’[5], while Portsmouth International Port director, Mike Sellars, highlights that ‘the scanner would bring confidence to passengers’.[6]

However, it is important to note that temperature-screening thermal imaging cameras are not diagnostic tools and must be used alongside other medical equipment and tests. Furthermore, these cameras cannot be used to catch asymptomatic persons or persons that do not exhibit a temperature. Temperature-screening thermal imaging cameras can help to identify early cases of COVID-19, nevertheless, they cannot be relied upon to catch all COVID-19 carriers and should not be used as an alternative to other hygiene and social distancing measures.

An ITV article, published on the 29th May 2020, details how the Albert Schloss pub on Peter Street, Manchester, has installed a temperature-screening thermal camera as part of a range of social-distancing and hygiene measures which include sanitiser stations, a one-way system, and Perspex screens between booths and at the bar.[7]

Upon entering the establishment customers will be required to sanitise their hands and undergo a quick skin-temperature screening which is automatically conducted using a mounted thermal imaging camera. Remote screening eliminates unnecessary contact between customers and staff protecting both parties from possible transmission of infection. Individuals that trigger the camera’s temperature alarm and who seem unwell may be asked to leave and seek medical attention.

As thermal imaging cameras cannot be relied upon to catch all potentially unwell persons, the Albert Schloss has also implemented new social distancing rules that require customers to order using an app or via a nominated ‘table captain’ who places the party’s order using a disposable menu and pencil. Guests can choose to have their food and drink served at their table or the ‘table captain’ can collect the group’s order from designated collection points. Furthermore, serving staff are required to wear face masks and wash their hands every twenty minutes.

Similarly, on the 17th June 2020, BBC News published an article offering an overview of some of the social distancing and safety precautions implemented at Finnebrogue, a sausage company in County Down, Northern Ireland, that supplies many of the UK’s major supermarkets. During the pandemic, Finnebrogue has seen demand rise by 65%. To meet this demand the company has invested over half a million pounds into a range of social distancing and hygiene measures designed to protect staff and therefore the factory.[8]

One such measure is using a FLIR Exx Series Thermal Camera to screen staff for elevated skin temperature prior to entering the factory. Finnebrogue have also invested in PPE, such as face masks and visors, and have set up automatic and manual hand sanitising stations inside and outside the factory. In addition to this, staff are required to maintain a distance of 2m from each other. However, in areas where social distancing is not possible, such as at the sausage packing station, Finnebrogue has installed Perspex screens to enable staff to work safely whilst in close proximity.

Declan Furguson, the company manager, reports that the implementation of these measures has meant that the factory has maintained an absence rate of less than 2% during the pandemic which is ‘better than the norm.’[9] He reports hearing of ‘different factories in the industry that are running at 20% absence rate.’[10]

In addition to providing a range of skin-temperature screening thermal cameras, PASS Ltd also offers a selection of PPE including face visors and masks, as well as alcohol-free and alcohol hand sanitisers, automatic and manual hand sanitiser dispensers, hand sanitiser stations, and social distancing stickers and signage. Please see our COVID-19 section to view our complete range of temperature-screening, safety, hygiene and social distancing products and solutions.

For further information regarding any of our products please contact our sales team on 01642 931 329 or via our online form.


[1] BBC, The One Show, Episode: 09/06/2020, last accessed 17 June 2020 <https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000jyx2/the-one-show-09062020>

[2] BBC News, Will thermal cameras help to end the lockdown? Last accessed 17 June 2020 <https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/business-52479043/will-thermal-cameras-help-to-end-the-lockdown>

[3] BBC News, Coronavirus: Portsmouth port installs thermal camera, last accessed 17 June 2020 <https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-52767834>

[4] NHS, Symptoms and What to Do: Coronavirus (COVID-19), last accessed 17 June 2020 <https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/check-if-you-have-coronavirus-symptoms/>

[5] BBC News, Coronavirus: Portsmouth port installs thermal camera

[6] BBC News, Coronavirus: Portsmouth port installs thermal camera

[7] ITV News, What a post-lockdown lockdown bar could look like – including thermal imaging cameras and staff in visors, last accessed 17 June 2020 < https://www.itv.com/news/granada/2020-05-29/what-a-post-lockdown-lockdown-bar-could-look-like-including-thermal-imaging-cameras-and-some-staff-in-visors/>

[8] BBC News, Coronavirus and how to beat it on the sausage frontline, last accessed 18 June 2020 < https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/stories-53070115/coronavirus-and-how-to-beat-it-on-the-sausage-frontline>

[9] BBC News, Coronavirus and how to beat it on the sausage frontline

[10] BBC News, Coronavirus and how to beat it on the sausage frontline