Ultraviolet cleaning robots at Heathrow to encourage passengers to return to air travel

Tap above to watch video report by Martin Stew

Ultraviolet cleaning robots are being used at Heathrow as the airport encourages 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.

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.

UV handrail cleaning technology on an escalator at the airport

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.

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.