WORCESTER Warriors is leading the way in its preparations for the re-opening of Sixways with the installation of state of the art technology to screen symptoms of coronavirus.

The club is installing Harlequin fever screening, a system developed by Spookfish Innovations, who are now the exclusive official thermal screening supplier to Warriors.

This, according to the club, means Warriors will have the most advanced screening system in the Premiership.

Warriors players began their return to play procedure yesterday (June 15), returning to Sixways in stage one of the Elite Sport Return to Training Guidance which permits individual conditioning or groups of individuals conditioning in a performance environment with strict social distancing being maintained at all times.

Thermal fever screening has been identified as an essential component of safely returning to play and the new technology works alongside the club's existing safety measures.

Colin Goldring, Warriors co-owner, said: "The safety and welfare of the entire Warriors family and everyone who visits Sixways is of paramount importance to the club and we believe that the Harlequin system that Spookfish have developed will put us on the front foot when the players and coaches are allowed to resume training.

"We are delighted to have Spookfish as an official supplier and having access to the leading technology on thermal screening will play a significant role in helping us to detect and protect against the key symptom of Coronavirus and ensure that we are able to reopen the stadium safely as part of our return-to-play measures.

"Harlequin uses infrared camera-based thermography to precisely detect body temperature and provides a fast, effective and non-contact method of screening individuals at risk of infection.

"It’s really quick and easy to use and, most importantly, has a higher degree of precision than anything else we’ve seen on the market, detecting changes in body temperature within 0.25 degrees C."

The Harlequin screening technology, which has been installed in the entrance to the Warriors High Performance Centre, uses screening procedures recommended by the World Health Organisation and industrial grade thermal cameras and intelligent machine learning to measure temperatures at the inner corner of the eye using a high resolution thermal image.

It provides real-time results in turn with both visual and sound alarms and can test up to 900 people an hour.

Dr Jouni Ronkainen, sales director at Spookfish Innovations, said: "Having spent the past three years researching, developing and delivering cutting edge thermal imaging systems in the highly regulated pharmaceutical sector, we didn’t expect to end up at the pinnacle of professional rugby as a consequence.

"We have had to adapt swiftly to ensure the system adheres to key principles of both the British and International standards on fever screening.

"We are thrilled to be working with the Warriors on such an important project that is continuing to evolve thanks to funding provided by the UK government aimed at innovative businesses dealing with the impact from the Coronavirus."