Thermal cameras to scan 600-700 people per day at Tallinn Airport

Tallinn Airport.
Tallinn Airport. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Two thermal imaging cameras will be installed at Tallinn Airport next week that will first and foremost scan passengers arriving from regions at risk of coronavirus disease, an estimated total of 600-700 people per day.

Tallinn Airport board member Einari Bambus told ERR on Friday that although exact procedures for checking people will be put in place once the thermal imaging cameras have arrived next week, the two cameras will be installed to monitor two flows of arriving passengers.

"In our case, Schengen and non-Schengen flows," Bambus explained. "The Police and Border Guard Board (PPA), the Health Board and Tallinn Airport are three organizations that will begin literally monitoring flows of travelers. And certainly not all arriving travelers, but rather arrivals from areas that have been designated at-risk areas."

He added that this extra monitoring would not mean anything particular or any discomfort for travelers, nor would it cost them any additional time.

"This is just typical thermal imaging and monitoring of passenger flows," the airport official said. "And if there really is someone among the travelers with a high fever, then they will be handled separately. They will be given appropriate guidelines to follow, and paramedics will be called if necessary."

Aviation is currently in its low season, he noted, and Tallinn Airport is serving nearly 4,000 arriving and departing passengers daily.

"We won't star monitoring all arrivals," he reiterated, "Only those arriving from at-risk areas. This may be some 600-700 people per day."

According to Bambus, the airport itself does not intend to hire additional staff to conduct this monitoring; he also didn't rule out that the police or Health Board may conduct it.

The thermal imaging cameras will be purchased and managed by Tallinn Airport at a cost of approximately €30,000.

Commonly referred to as the novel coronavirus, coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by the virus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). COVID-19 was first identified in Wuhan, the capital of China's Hubei Province, in late 2019. Worldwide, more than 83,000 cases of coronavirus disease have since been confirmed, with more than 2,800 deaths attributed to the disease to date.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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