Heathrow staff told amber list arrivals to ‘lie’ about quarantining to avoid huge airport queues

BRITS returning from amber list destinations claim they were told to “lie” about self-isolating to avoid lengthy queues at immigration.

Since Monday, UK arrivals who have been fully vaccinated no longer have to quarantine if returning from a country on the amber list.

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Heathrow passengers are facing huge queues at immigrationCredit: Splash

But problems arose at the airport yesterday, when vaccinated passengers started showing their mandatory Passenger Locator Forms at border control.

The forms haven’t yet been updated with a box for double jabbed Brits to tick, saying that they will skip quarantine.

And if they ticked the box that said they had a ‘government approved’ reason for being exempt from self-isolation, they would not be allowed to use the faster e-gates and faced an hours-long wait to pass through the border.

As a result, a double jabbed traveller claimed he was told to lie on his form and say that he planned to quarantine.

The Telegraph’s John Arlidge, who made the claim in the newspaper this morning said: “There is currently no button on the UK’s Passenger Locator Form (PFL) to declare that you are exempt from self-isolation because you are fully double vaccinated and coming from an amber country.”

“If you tell the truth on the locator form and say you are exempt and tick the ‘Government / Assembly Approved’ reason – which is the only option that makes any sense – you cannot use the E-gates.”

TV presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy also tweeted last night: “Chaos at passport control Heathrow – the officer explains the computer hasn’t been updated for new double vaccination from amber rules so the e-gates reject everyone in that group.”

Sun Online Travel has contacted the Home Office for comment.

“UNACCEPTABLE”

It follows huge queues at Heathrow Terminal 5 last night, with 2,000 arrivals forced to queue for nearly two hours after the e-gates closed.

Passengers claimed there were just four Border Force officials, with other staff members forced to hand out water to those in the queue with temperatures in the UK hitting 30C.

Others said kids were crying while others said it was “unacceptable”.

Holidaymakers have already been warned to expect huge queues at the airport this summer due to a combination of more travellers and new Covid checks and restrictions.

Not only that, but Brits could be left on planes that have landed to deal with the huge crowds and avoid the long lines at the terminal.

Lucy Moreton head of ISU immigration union warned they were “not set up to cope with that demand,” according to The Times.

She said: “There is no way that the border can maintain that level of checks as the number of travellers increase. We’ve got away with it so far because the number of travellers are so low.

“But even at this point we’re seeing queues of one to two hours. From the number of bookings we’ve seen already, we’ll easily see three, four-hour queues when people start returning.”

Last night, arrivals waited hours at immigration due to a lack of staff

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Last night, arrivals waited hours at immigration due to a lack of staffCredit: Splash
Carnage at Heathrow with thousands stuck in queues and missing flights after security ‘fail to turn up’

 

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