Southampton Airport will become a temporary mortuary to help deal with the rise in Coronavirus deaths in Hampshire.
The Grayson Site – a new temporary building isolated from the passenger terminal – will be a specially adapted, secure site used to house a mortuary for bodies from Southampton, Portsmouth, and other parts of Hampshire.
The site will be policed 24/7 and will not be accessible by the public in any capacity.
Faith leaders have been working with Hampshire County Council to ensure that all expected practices remain in place.
The news was announced by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Resilience Fund, who are working to help the local authority respond to the COVID-19 crisis. In their statement, they said:
Local partner organisations across the wider Hampshire region, are working together to ensure arrangements are in place to support communities during this difficult time. Integral to our planning is the need to ensure the area is equipped with additional mortuary space, should we need it. While I understand that people may be concerned about this development, it is important that we are well prepared.
The temporary mortuary will not impact the airport’s running. Southampton Airport continues to run two flights a day – one to Jersey and one to Guernsey – at lunchtime.