Ellisons Travel is the first operator in the UK to install the Datik COVID Manager product. COVID Manager is an access control camera that is mounted at the entrance of a vehicle. It identifies passengers who are not wearing a face covering and those that show signs of having a high temperature.

The passenger assessment process is completed in less than two seconds. Datik says that COVID Manager is “designed to restore customer confidence.” It forms part of a wider effort from the coach and bus industry to demonstrate that its vehicles and services are safe.

Ellisons has taken one COVID Manager unit on trial. It has been fitted to an Irizar i8 integral. If the St Helens operator likes the product, it will be deployed across the rest of its fleet.

Says Datik UK Director Mikel Aguirre: “Passengers will be reassured that vehicles have extra protection measures. That will empower them to use public transport.”

COVID Manager helps to remove the responsibility for refusing travel from the driver, Datik adds. When a passenger has a high temperature or lacks a face covering, the device alerts them that they may not board. The manufacturer says that it is then for the operator to decide whether the driver should intervene in the event of customer non-compliance.

The access control unit does not record any personal data. Nor does it store images of passengers. It can be integrated with Datik’s iPanel Incident Manager for the purpose of monitoring and managing the recorded coronavirus COVID-19 incidents quickly and easily.

Mr Aguirre adds that Datik has also sent sample COVID Manager units to be installed in vehicles in Australia, Germany, Spain and the United States.