Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Airport chaos as passengers stand next to UK arrivals 'from red list' for hours amid variant concerns

British arrivals faced chaotic scenes as they were stuck waiting next to passengers from countries on the red list for three hours.

Passengers at Heathrow Airport said that the crammed conditions left them with the fear of catching COVID-19.

Some said that they were left queuing next to arrivals from India which is currently being devastated by the coronavirus, according to the Mirror.

It comes after England and most of Scotland eased lockdown restrictions including reopening foreign holiday travel to certain countries.

They have been placed on a traffic light system with red being the highest risk and green being the lowest risk.

India, which has seen COVID-19 rampage through the population, is on the red list, meaning a hotel quarantine and multiple tests are needed when traveling.

The Mail Online reports that passengers had taken advantage of at least 340 flights from Heathrow and Gatwick believed to be destinations in the medium-risk amber category.

These were said to have included nine flights to Rome, 21 to Paris and 26 to New York - on what is likely to be one of the busiest days of the year for British airports.

One traveller stuck in the queue in Terminal 2 at 10:40am said: "I arrived back in the country from South Africa - one of the red listed countries. I was more terrified catching Covid while going through border control than walking around South Africa.

"While queuing there was no social distancing we had a plane from India arrive straight after ours and we queued for over three hours and when their plane arrived it was out the door."

Heathrow said the limited reopening meant that it had 11,000 people flying out on Monday, up from 7,000 a day last week but well below the 120,000 typical at this time of year pre-pandemic.

18/05/21 William Walker/Naina Bhardwaj/Daily Record

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