Spain's transport minister, José Luis Ábalos (centre), at Madrid-Barajas on Thursday. | Daniel Ramo


Sanidad Exterior is a division of Spain's health ministry which has specific responsibilities for controlling possible health risks posed by the transit of goods and the movement of international travellers. It is this division which will be placed in charge of checking the temperatures of passengers from the start of next month. Thermographic cameras will be used, these having been in operation manually since the middle of May; the system will now be automated.

On Thursday, the transport minister, José Luis Ábalos, visited Madrid-Barajas Airport in order to see the Covid safety measures which have been established. All other airports in the Aena network will have these measures, which include gel sanitiser dispensers, distance markings and protective screens.

A further measure is the Passenger Location Card (PLC). This is filled out on planes and handed in at airport temperature controls. It is to be digitised in order to facilitate more fluid movement of people at airports.

The Aena airports authority and the Exterior Health division are cooperating on health surveillance and control and have agreed their separate responsibilities. Health and data that are captured will be the health ministry's responsibilities, while Aena will provide the human and technological resources for the installation of thermal imaging cameras and the PLC system. Aena will be following European guidelines for its operational recovery plan - a package of protocols for the safe operation of air transport.