Sunday, May 16, 2021

Indian variant: People arriving from India spent hours in busy Heathrow queues close to other travellers

A woman who arrived in the UK from “red-list” India last week has claimed passengers from her flight queued for hours next to travellers from other flights despite concern over mutant Covid-19 variants.

Maggie Sisson, 50, flew in from Bengaluru in India, last Friday. She told i it took her four and half hours to get to her quarantine hotel after landing – even though she was staying in Terminal 5’s Sofitel hotel and that social distancing was non-existent.

“Red-list” passengers were directed to queue for immigration on the far right side of the arrivals hall – but some non-red list passengers were also queueing as close as “five metres” away, Ms Sisson claims.

“It was the most crowded space I’ve been in since the pandemic began. It [arrivals] is all in one area, but there was hundreds of us.” she told i.

The expatriate, who has lived in India for 15 years and who had returned to the UK to visit family, waited for more than two hours in an immigration line and the rest of the time waiting for a bus to her hotel also in the terminal with other non “red-list” passengers.

She said: “It was pure madness at Heathrow. If I do test positive I have no doubt the exposure would have been there.

“I ended up being hours in a small space with people, yes they had masks on, but with so many other people for a long amount of time, that to me defeats the whole purpose of quarantining.

“My concern was not only for us in the ‘red list’ immigration queue but the fact that this queue is in the same area as all arrivals for immigration.

16/05/20 inews

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