As travel restrictions ease, British visitors wanting to leave the country could confront six-hour airport lines at peak periods now. According to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, holidaymakers should expect delays at the border after excursions overseas due to the requirement for further coronavirus checks.
The Government altered its warning against non-essential travel to 23 countries Friday night, including France, Greece, Spain, and the United States, that travelers would no longer be required to quarantine beginning Monday, July 19. From then, the rule changes enabling fully vaccinated adults and all children to travel without quarantine have caused a rush in bookings.
The Immigration Service Union stated that the “massive volume” of travelers arriving and a shortage of Border Patrol officers might cause delays in border checks. Because not all electronic gates can comply with the new system, there may be delays of up to six hours once travelers arrive in England.
Travelers will need to provide three additional documents in addition to their passports under the new rules, which will result in thousands of more passengers passing through terminals. It was stated that the additional requirements are a passenger locator form which is used for monitoring possible contact with people who have coronavirus, proof of being fully vaccinated at least 14 days previously, and finally, proof of a recent negative Covid test.
On Friday, Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps warned that coronavirus-related inspections would cause “greater inconvenience than usual.” According to British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, families may expect delays at foreign airports, as airlines check passenger locator papers and whether travelers have undergone the proper Covid 19 tests.
After it was revealed that only travelers with NHS- issued vaccines will be excluded, Mr. Shapps claimed the Government is “actively working” on recognizing vaccination certificates from other nations. The majority of the queue will occur before departure back to England, with airlines reviewing passenger locator forms and determining whether passengers have taken a pre-departure exam and scheduled a post-arrival test.
He said that one should expect to wait in the airport from which you are departing. He believes that everyone is working very hard to keep those queues as short as possible. Despite passenger numbers being roughly 15% of what they were before the epidemic, Heathrow Airport saw queues of up to seven hours earlier this year.
According to spokeswoman Lucy Moreton, Peak lines are currently up to two hours, and that the process takes three to four times longer to review Covid documents. “It is a political choice to verify 100% of Covid arrivals, and that is essentially the difficulty here.
There will still be queues linked with the EU leave, and staff may not be as available significantly if self-isolation numbers rise as predicted before August 19.
Nevertheless, as long as we keep the requirement to check four pieces of documentation for every arriving passenger – the e-gate cannot check the pre-departure test certificate because they are not uniformed, and they cannot check any vaccination status at the moment if that becomes relevant – these queues will continue.”
According to a government spokesperson, preserving public health is the “first concern,” and “for the time being, travelers will have to accept an increase in the time taken at each point of their journey.”
“While some restrictions remain in place, we are moving quickly to streamline the process,” they continued. “This includes rolling out our e-gate upgrade program this summer and deploying extra Border Force personnel.”
People returning from amber list countries like France, Spain, and Portugal will be able to travel as freely as those returning from green list countries if they have been double vaccinated. However, those vaccines had to be given by the NHS at the time.