Last Updated: September 21, 2021
Heathrow, the UK’s most popular airport, complains that mile-long queues caused by Covid-19 checks have become “untenable”.
At the moment, to pass through immigration controls, passengers could be forced to wait up to six hours.
Chief solution officer at Heathrow Chris Garton told MPs on the transport committee that the situation is getting out of hand, as each day 10-15,000 people arrive at the airport, and more than half face delays of over two to three hours.
Mr Garton mentioned that they even had to involve the police on several occasions as the long lines at immigration control clearly disrupted passengers. He further added that the current Covid-19 check system has been hard on airport officers, while the Home Office has not provided them with extra officers that can help speed up the process.
One of the main reason for the long lines at airports are the recently-introduced Covid-19 checks, which apply to all passengers entering and leaving the country.
Queues are only expected to grow after 17 May when the government is planning on relaxing foreign travel rules. Currently, travelling abroad is only allowed for certain reasons and occupations.
Meanwhile, people in England can start planning summer holidays abroad, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced last week. What’s more, a recent Deloitte survey revealed that nearly half of managers believe their workers are ready to start travelling overseas for work again.
Will foreign travel resume as we knew it in pre-corona times? Probably not. According to Mr Shapps, all passengers will still have to take Covid-19 tests upon arrival and departure, even if they are travelling to and from low-risk countries, which will certainly further increase delays and waiting times at airports.