From today Heathrow airport will begin to temporarily close down Terminals 3 and 4, with all remaining flights operating from either Terminal 2 or 5.

In a customer email sent out yesterday, the airport said:

“As part of Heathrow’s efforts to stay as safe as possible, airline operations will start to temporarily relocate from Terminals 3 and 4 to Terminals 2 and 5 from Thursday April 16, 2020. If you are travelling, please check our terminal guide for your airline.”

The airport will start by moving Cathay Pacific, Emirates and Pakistan International Airlines services to Terminal 2 from today, with further moves taking place “over the coming weeks”.

All British Airways flights (including any which would normally have operated from Terminal 3) are currently using Terminal 5.

The airport said that “It is very important that those passengers who are using Heathrow for essential travel, keep in touch with their airline to confirm which terminal their flight departs from before travelling to the airport”.

Earlier this month Heathrow moved to a single runway operation, “as a temporary measure to increase resilience and safety for colleagues, passengers and cargo”. The move sees the airport alternating between runways on a weekly basis.

Heathrow said this week that passenger numbers for March 2020 fell by 52 per cent compared with 2019, with demand for April expected to fall by 90 per cent.

One small piece of good news for the airport is that cargo-only flights have increased considerably. On March 31 Heathrow welcomed 38 dedicated cargo movements on a single day – the airport would normally expect to operate around 47 such movements per week.

Meanwhile the airport said it was “ready to work with Government and industry on science and research to develop measures for rapid health screening of passengers prior to travel”.

This week Emirates tested the first airport on-site Covid-19 tests with passengers departing Dubai International for Tunisia.

“Heathrow continues to serve the nation by keeping vital supply lines open, and helping people get home,” said Heathrow’s CEO John Holland-Kaye.

“Now is the time to agree a common international standard for healthcare screening in airports so that when this crisis recedes, people can travel with confidence and we can get the British economy moving again.”