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Social-distancing at airports is ‘impossible’, says Heathrow boss

Heathrow Terminal 2 before the lockdown

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AFP

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Heathrow Terminal 2 before the lockdown

Introducing social distancing at airports is “physically impossible”, the boss of Heathrow has warned.

“Social distancing does not work in any form of public transport, let alone aviation,” John Holland-Kaye said.

But the chief executive of Europe’s busiest airport said airports will have to introduce health-screening and passengers will have to wear masks.

However, the GMB union said the airport must enforce social-distancing to protect staff and passengers.

The union said workers fear contracting the coronavirus from passengers returning from countries where Covid-19 is prevalent. In the past two weeks three GMB members working at Heathrow have lost their lives to the coronavirus.

‘Screening’

In an interview with the Press Association news agency, Mr Holland-Kaye said: “It’s just physically impossible to socially distance with any volume of passengers in an airport.”

He said a “better solution” is needed to make air travel safe. “The constraint is not about how many people you can fit on a plane, it will be how many people you can get through an airport safely.”

In a separate interview, with the BBC, Mr Holland-Kaye said that until a coronavirus vaccine could be developed, airports would have to introduce measures to minimise infection once lockdowns started to ease.

“This might include some kind of health screening as you come into the terminal so that if you have a high temperature, you may not be allowed to fly,” he said.

“As you go through the airport, you will probably be wearing a face mask, as people from Asia have been doing ever since Sars (virus) came out.”

Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary backed the call for temperature checks. “Anybody with a temperature of over 38 degrees will be refused entry,” he told the BBC.

Meanwhile, EasyJet has suggested it could leave the middle seats on its planes empty when flights resume.

Enforcing distancing

The GMB has called for urgent action to protect Heathrow airport workers after an over-crowding incident this week. On Tuesday, two flights arrived at the same time from the same country, the union reported.

It said Heathrow allocated just one conveyor belt for up to 500 passengers waiting to collect their bags.

“No social-distancing was enforced in what was a very crowded area,” said Trevlyn McLeod, GMB London region organiser. “These are not safe conditions for passengers and they are not safe working conditions for our members.

“Enforcing social-distancing is essential if our members and airport passengers are to feel that their lives are more important than money,” he said.

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Koko Camden: Fire engulfs famous music venue

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Media captionOne third of the roof of Koko in Camden was on fire at one point, the London Fire Brigade says

One of London’s most famous music venues has been badly damaged in an overnight blaze.

The dome on the roof of Koko in Camden has been destroyed by fire, according to the London Fire Brigade.

Sixty firefighters helped fight the flames after the blaze broke out just before 21:00 GMT on Monday and no injuries have been reported.

The venue which began life as the Camden Theatre in 1900 has hosted stars including Madonna, Coldplay and Prince.

Station commander Jon Lewis said the fire was brought under control at about 02:30 on Tuesday, adding: “Firefighters’ quick action and hard work in the early stages meant the fire was contained to the roof and saved the rest of the building.”

Koko owner Olly Bengough said he was “deeply saddened” by the blaze, adding: “We’ll be doing our best to get the redevelopment of this iconic building back on track.”

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The fire in the building’s roof was brought under control in the early hours of Tuesday

Crews will remain at the scene throughout the day and have warned people to stay away from the area.

Koko which was closed for refurbishment, was also previously known as the Camden Palace and Camden Hippodrome and has been one of the capital’s most iconic live music venues for decades.

The Rolling Stones, The Clash and Ed Sheeran are among other star names to have performed at the venue, which is close to Mornington Crescent underground station.

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Oliver Cooper

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About 60 firefighters helped tackle a fire at Koko in Camden High Street

It was reportedly the last venue where AC/DC’s Bon Scott was seen drinking before his death from alcohol poisoning in 1980.

In the early 80s it served as a major venue for the punk and New Romantic scene, with singer Steve Strange of the band Visage holding club nights.

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UniversalImagesGroup/Getty

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Opening night at Camden Palace 1981 with Steve Strange (left)

Members of the public have been sharing their Koko memories on Twitter.

Marc Rustic was “absolutely gutted” having seen his first grime gig at Koko.

“MoStack was performing and it was honestly the best night of my life,” he added.

Veteran DJ Tony Blackburn who held his legendary soul nights Shakatak also tweeted about the fire.

Koko and the nearby Roundhouse effectively “bookended” Camden’s music scene, according to music writer Carl Allen.

In between the two are 60 music venues including the Dingwalls and Electric Ballroom, as well as restaurants and pubs.

On Twitter the Roundhouse said it was “really sad” to hear the news about our Camden neighbours.

Camden Council leader Georgia Gould said: “Heartbreaking watching the Camden Palace/Koko up in flames this evening, a building that holds so many memories and means so much to us in Camden.”

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan thanked the fire brigade for its quick response.

The venue was set to reopen in the spring after a “major state-of-the-art” refurbishment, after the purchase of two adjacent buildings.

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The venue hosted the BBC’s Electric Proms in 2007

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PA Media

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Koko has hosted some of music’s biggest names including Madonna, The Rolling Stones and Prince


Do you have memories of attending gigs at Koko? Share your experiences by emailing .

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:



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Norwich City v Crystal Palace

Norwich boss Daniel Farke saw his side draw with Spurs despite leading twice. The Canaries are the only club not to have won a Premier League point from a losing position this season.

TEAM NEWS

Norwich midfielder Kenny McLean is a doubt to face Crystal Palace because of a foot problem.

Josip Drmic is not expected to return until the weekend, while Ben Godfrey and Timm Klose are long-term absentees.

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson is again expected to be without a host of first-team players.

Christian Benteke, Gary Cahill, Scott Dann, Jeffrey Schlupp, Andros Townsend, Joel Ward and Patrick van Aanholt are all on the sidelines.

Hodgson has revealed that Martin Kelly played with a muscle strain against Southampton, while Cheikhou Kouyate has said he has a groin issue.

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