IMO they should also be temperature testing anyone who goes into the supermarket with a scanner, which is easy to do. In China it appears they are now doing this as they return to some state of normality.
The experience shows that this is almost completely worthless as a screening method.
I have a thermal thermometer at home for quick use before I reach for my old reliable Terumo Blue professional underarm type. Whilst working at the The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney (The Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children) where I worked as a nurse for 20yrs, a trial was carried out. What we found was two areas of concern using thermal scanning thermometers
1 - results varied by +/- 1 degree (1 degree variance over 38.5 is a huge worry)
2 - you had to ensure the area of skin aimed at, usually the forehead, was perfectly dry, no sweet etc
These thermometers were tested against the usual type of 'underarm'. You never do oral temperatures on young children and children in general and you never use glass thermometers. Underarm or anal is best. But you use a thermometer that has been calibrated for that particular area.
The final decision was that underarm in all circumstances except burns patients where, if accessible, use correctly celebrated anal or use thermal scanner with the knowledge of its inconsistencies.
We also used underarm in the infectious ward. On ALL patients in all areas, we carried out aseptic cleaning procedures after each time of use.
However scanners are good in mass screening circumstances, infectious or otherwise. So long as you realise and understand their inaccuracies and that the results are indicative only and not a certainly.
So in a mass screening situation you could have someone who shows a temp of 38 when it is 37 or 39. Or 36 when it is 37. If you are bundled up then you could show 39 when you are 38. The extra time and effort to verify these inaccuracies, as the above article stated is not really worth it and quite inefficient. Also in this situation of the coronavirus incubation period, you can be asymptomatic upto 14 days and in some people it has been longer.
No, instant self isolation for asymptomatic arriving travellers, with follow up policing and quarantine for those displaying the signs and symptoms.