Heathrow will use Terminal 3 solely for ‘red list’ passengers from the start of June after passengers from green and amber counties were forced to mix with arrivals from Covid-ravaged areas.
The west London airport will use the new system from June 1 before switching to Terminal 4 ‘as soon as operationally possible’.
It is having to ‘adapt to this longer-term reality’ and expects the new way will ‘enable Border Force to carry out its duties more efficiently as passenger volumes increase in line with the green list’.
The move comes a day after Heathrow workers slammed the airport and the government over fears for their safety because of overcrowding.
The GMB union said its members providing security and hosting services have revealed travellers arriving from red list countries are mixing with those from green and amber.
It comes as Justice Secretary Robert Buckland stormed off during an interview with Good Morning Britain after he received a grilling over the Government’s amber list rules.
The Cabinet Minister abruptly ended the interview with presenters Ranvir Singh and Kate Garraway live on air this morning after claiming he could not ‘get a word in edgeways’.
The west London airport (pictured today) will use the new system from June 1 before switching to Terminal 4 ‘as soon as operationally possible’
This woman (pictured today) is said to have walked off out the airport and then realised she had gone to the wrong bit. She was said to have looked like a lost duckling. But she soon realised she had gone the wrong way after coming out in the taxi rank area
The move comes a day after Heathrow (pictured today) workers slammed the airport and the government over fears for their safety because of overcrowding
The GMB union said its members providing security and hosting services have revealed travellers arriving from red list countries are mixing with those from green and amber (pictured today)
Meanwhile Boris Johnson hinted the June 21 ‘freedom day’ will go ahead as he said he still does not see ‘anything’ in coronavirus data that would prevent the roadmap going ahead. Pictured: Heathrow today
Millions are taking a punt and have booked holidays to Amber List nations, especially in Europe, despite warnings not to fly
Terminal 3 will not be solely for red list passengers for another 11 days when it springs into action on June 1, with the airport saying the change will be ‘logistically very challenging’.
A spokesman said: ‘Red list routes will likely be a feature of UK travel for the foreseeable future as countries vaccinate their populations at different rates.
‘We’re adapting Heathrow to this longer-term reality by initially opening a dedicated arrivals facility in Terminal 3 from June 1st for red list passengers arriving on direct flights.
‘We will move this facility to Terminal 4 as soon as operationally possible. While opening this facility will be logistically very challenging, our hope is that it will enable Border Force to carry out its duties more efficiently as passenger volumes increase in line with the green list.
‘Until then, the current red list system will remain in place. This system has been designed by the Government and has several layers of protection to keep passengers and colleagues safe – including mandatory negative COVID tests for all international arrivals, mandatory use of face coverings, social distancing, segregation and enhanced cleaning regimes and ventilation in immigration halls.’
The GMB Union said yesterday travellers from different lists are stuck in a bottleneck before immigration. Heathrow said measures put in place meant the risk of transmission at the airport is low.
Pictures from Terminal 2 yesterday showed travellers from Covid-stricken India just yards away from other flyers as they were escorted to quarantine.
The PM delivered a bullish message on the prospects for the unlocking in England after a week of anxiety about whether the Indian variant will derail the country’s hopes. Pictured: Heathrow today
Terminal 3 will not be solely for red list passengers for another 11 days when it comes into action on June 1, with the airport (pictured today) saying the change will be ‘logistically very challenging’
A spokesman said: ‘Red list routes will likely be a feature of UK travel for the foreseeable future as countries vaccinate their populations at different rates.’ Pictured: Heathrow today
The Heathrow (pictured today) spokesman continued: ‘We’re adapting Heathrow to this longer-term reality by initially opening a dedicated arrivals facility in Terminal 3 from June 1st for red list passengers arriving on direct flights’
Nadine Houghton, GMB national officer, said: ‘I have been inundated by messages from concerned GMB members providing a vital service at Heathrow’ (pictured today)
Heathrow Terminals 2 and 5 are open (in green) but 3 and 4 (in red) have been mothballed since last year to save money
Nadine Houghton, GMB national officer, said: ‘I have been inundated by messages from concerned GMB members providing a vital service at Heathrow.
‘Workers who desperately want to get the UK flying again but are in fear for theirs and their family’s safety. GMB wants to know how the Government will mitigate further problems when more countries are added to colour-coded lists?
‘As our quarantine hotels fill up, what measures do ministers have in place if more countries turn red? How will they cope with more bottlenecks at Heathrow and potentially elsewhere?
A Heathrow spokesman said yesterday: ‘There are numerous measures to keep passengers and colleagues safe, including requirements for negative tests pre-departure for all international arrivals, enhanced cleaning regimes and ventilation in the immigration halls, dedicated Covid marshals to enforce social distancing and mandatory use of face coverings throughout the airport.
‘As a result, the risk of transmission at the airport is low. The process the Government has designed for red list passengers triages passengers at Heathrow between aircraft gate and the immigration hall.
‘Those from the red list are directed into a dedicated channel and separated from other passengers.
‘After crossing the border, Government contractors then escort red list passengers to a segregated area of our baggage hall to collect their luggage before taking them to dedicated hotel quarantine transportation.’
The GMB Union spokesman continued: ‘Workers who desperately want to get the UK flying again but are in fear for theirs and their family’s safety. GMB wants to know how the Government will mitigate further problems when more countries are added to colour-coded lists?’ Pictured: Heathrow today
Mr Johnson also flatly ruled out introducing ‘Covid certificates’ to get into pubs next month – words that will delight increasingly restive Tory MPs. Pictured: Heathrow today
And the PM suggested that the details of the plans for June 21 will be unveiled by the end of the month, earlier than had been feared after the latest mutant strain started to fuel cases. Pictured: Heathrow today
The positive comments contrasted with the position taken by Nicola Sturgeon, who announced this afternoon that Glasgow will stay in tougher Level 3 restrictions for another week, and warned that the R rate might be above one in Scotland as the variant spreads. Pictured: A man playing cricket in the airport car park today
Positive test figures from the Wellcome Sanger Institute – which cover only lab-analysed cases in the two weeks between April 25 and May 8 – reveal the mutant Indian strain made up 50 per cent or more of all samples in 23 parts of the country by last week. Bolton and Blackburn in the North West remain the worst-hit areas with almost 600 cases between them and the variant making up 81 per cent of infections
Only three hotspots have clear case rises
Just three of the 15 Indian variant hotspots in the UK are seeing clear rises in infection rates, surge testing data has revealed.
Almost 3,500 cases of the Indian Covid variant have now been spotted across the UK, with the number of people testing positive for the strain having more than doubled in a week. But the latest data has suggested that scientists’ fears about the Indian strain being more transmissible than the already highly virulent Kent variant may be unfounded.
In the over-60s, cases are not rising in any of the hotspots outside of Bolton – meaning vaccines are likely working to protect the elderly from the disease, The Times reports. Full figures on the results of the surge testing – which is being carried out in areas including Bedford, Burnley, Hounslow and Kirklees – will be released next week, as current data is only preliminary.
Public Health England’s weekly update said the B.1.617.2 variant had been detected 3,424 times by May 19, up from 1,313 a week ago. The bulk of the cases have been in the North West of England — mostly in Bolton and Blackburn — and in London but PHE said clusters were cropping up across the country.
Justice Secretary Robert Buckland stormed off during an interview with Good Morning Britain after he received a grilling over the Government’s amber list rules.
The Cabinet Minister abruptly ended the interview with presenters Ranvir Singh and Kate Garraway live on air this morning after claiming he could not ‘get a word in edgeways’.
Mr Buckland got immediately to his feet before walking out of shot with a Pret A Manger coffee cup in hand.
It comes after ministers were accused of issuing contradictory messages that have left holidaymakers and travel chiefs begging for clarity.
Boris Johnson himself insisted families should visit medium-risk destinations only in ‘extreme circumstances’ and not for holidays but said such trips should be for ‘pressing’ family or business reasons only.
Kate Garraway began by relaying the plight of thousands of holidaymakers who had booked trips to countries that now fall within the amber list.
Mr Buckland responded by saying: ‘I think the important point that the amber list offers is indeed those necessary journeys either because a family members is very ill or close to death or someone who has died…’
Ms Garraway then cuts in to add: ‘There can’t be 270,000 necessary journeys and that’s still not answering the point.’
She then reiterates her original statements once again as Mr Buckland listens and nods along respectfully.
The host then says: ‘What is the clarity? What is the point of the amber list?’
Mr Buckland responds: ‘Well as I’ve said the amber list does allow for necessary journeys if you’re working or if there is a really pressing family commitment that can’t be put back.
‘I think, therefore, that it is right to have it – rather than a binary system of either red or green – you’ve got that middle tier that does allow for at least some essential travel with then the requirement to isolate at the end of it…’
Justice Secretary Robert Buckland stormed off during an interview with Good Morning Britain after he received a grilling over the Government’s amber list rules
The Cabinet Minister abruptly ended the interview with presenters Ranvir Singh and Kate Garraway live on air this morning after claiming he could not ‘get a word in edgeways’
Mr Buckland got immediately to his feet before walking out of shot with a Pret A Manger coffee cup in hand
UK travel turmoil during the pandemic
March 16, 2020: PM’s call to stay at home
Boris Johnson declares: ‘Now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel’
Mar 17: Non-essential international travel banned for 30 days
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab says advice reflects ‘pace at which other countries are either closing borders or implementing restrictive measures’
May 22: Quarantine after arriving in UK
Those coming to Britain are ordered to self-isolate for 14 days, starting from June 8. Anyone who flouts the rules faces a fine of up to £1,000
Apr 4: Non-essential travel ban extended INDEFINITELY
Jun 27: The dawn of travel corridors
The chance of quarantine-free travel is announced, beginning from July 10. The news prompts an explosion in summer holiday bookings
Jul 3: Quarantine-free destinations unveiled
Travel corridors established with some 75 countries, including Spain and France
Jul 25: Spain travel corridor closed
Quarantine brought back for travellers from Spain after it sees a spike in Covid cases
Aug 13: France and Netherlands travel corridors closed
Sep 4: Airport Covid tests ruled out by pm
Mr Johnson said screening passengers would give a ‘false sense of security’ and only catch 7 per cent of cases.
Nov 5: Non-essential travel banned (again)
Second national lockdown begins. Britons are once again banned from going on holiday.
Dec 2: Travel resumes (except for tier 4)
New tier system introduced in UK. Travel resumes for most – but those in Tier 4 need a ‘legally permitted reason to leave home’.
Jan 6, 2021: Third ban on non-essential travel
Third lockdown begins
Jan 15: Get tested before coming to UK
Those coming to Britain are required to take a PCR test before reaching the UK. They must then self-isolate for ten days to combat the spread of new Covid variants
Feb 15: Enforced hotel quarantine for some
Travellers from countries on the Government’s list of banned countries now face ten days of quarantine in approved hotels, at a cost of £1,750
May 17: Holiday ban lifted – and traffic light system begins
Those flying in from ‘red’ countries still face hotel quarantine – but Britons are now legally free to travel to nations on the ‘amber’ and ‘green’ lists. Trips to the 12 green destinations, such as Portugal, are quarantine-free, but going to an amber country means you must self-isolate afterwards.
May 17 (yes, the same day): PM warns against holidays to amber countries
Downing Street spokesman says Britons should only take breaks in ‘green’ nations – prompting fury from travel industry (and exasperated holidaymakers, too)
Ranvir Singh then cuts in: ‘I think its a complete neglect of reality. It’s hiding behind policy and hiding behind words.’
Mr Buckland seems to let out a bemused scoff as he shuffles in his seat as Ms Singh continues: ‘It’s not truly looking at the reality of the next five days.’
She hurriedly concludes: ‘We shall have to leave it there because we have asked you several times to explain the relevance of the amber list and people at home can decide whether they are satisfied with the answers.’
Mr Buckland then bites back and says: ‘Well if I could get a word in edgeways I would have given the answers, thanks.’ But Ms Singh snaps: ‘Well you’ve had a full interview sir, so thank you for joining us on the show.’
The cameras continue to roll as the minister then stands up with his coffee cup and headed off screen. Ms Garraway then says ‘he’s off’ repeatedly before the segment comes to an end.
On Monday the outright ban on foreign travel was replaced by a green, amber and red traffic light system grading different countries by their Covid risk level.
But amid concern over foreign variants, ministers then announced that no one should holiday in an amber country even if they quarantined on their return.
Around five million Britons have booked amber list breaks this summer, leaving them in limbo over whether to cancel or re-book and hope their destination makes the green list.
Analysis has since revealed around 1,300 flights have been scheduled, carrying up to 54,000 passengers a day to ‘amber list’ destinations including Spain, Greece, France and Italy in the days leading up to Sunday, the Telegraph reports.
Contradictory messages have left holidaymakers and travel chiefs begging for clarity, and confusion reigned earlier this week when two Cabinet ministers suggested leisure breaks and visits to family and friends would be acceptable.
Adding to the chaos health minister Lord Bethell claimed all holidays abroad were ‘dangerous’.
Seven of the 10 largest British tour operators are making the most of the confusion over travel guidance and are flying holidaymakers to areas deemed safe for non-essential travel despite being on the ‘amber list’.
The seven companies flying to amber destinations between now and the start of June are TUI, BA, Easyjet, Expedia, Lastminute.com, Virgin and Travel Republic, according to consumer group Which?
JANET STREET-PORTER: The farcical travel traffic lights are a car crash and Covid-weary Brits should vote with their feet, even if it means wearing an ankle tag when we get back
The UK is starting to seem like North Korea. I keep reminding myself – we are a land of the free.
Until recently we still – unlike the unfortunate Uighur Muslims living in China – had the right to freedom of movement, freedom of thought, and freedom TO GO ON HOLIDAY WHEREVER THE HELL WE WANTED. Now holidays are being criminalised by the back door.
On Monday, we celebrated as travel restrictions were lifted, offering the exciting prospect of visiting a select handful of countries without having to quarantine on return. Portugal – one of the few accessible sunny spots on the short Green list – was a winner, taking thousands of bookings in a day.
Not such a huge rush for Iceland, where a cocktail could set you back a week’s wages and the weather is no better than back home and probably worse.
Australia is technically an option – but they’ve closed their borders to then entire world, including plucky Brits.
Or how about the Faroes? Great if you enjoy walking along steep cliffs but forget sandy beaches and the weather could be grim. We’ve had enough of ghastly gales back home this ‘spring’.
Until recently we still – unlike the unfortunate Uighur Muslims living in China – had the right to freedom of movement, freedom of thought, and freedom TO GO ON HOLIDAY WHEREVER THE HELL WE WANTED. Pictured: Monterosso al Mare in 2019
Now holidays are being criminalised by the back door Pictured: Paris, May 19
Unsurprisingly, most people prefer to holiday in countries on the Amber list – France, Spain, Greece, and Italy. Destinations which are accessible and budget friendly.
And after months of confinement, plus hail and thunder this May, long suffering folk are prepared to go through the cost of extra testing and 10 days quarantine on return – even if they’ve already been vaccinated.
But why are these ludicrous extra costs being foisted on travellers – even people who have already been jabbed? And who says a trip to Positano, or Paris is more dangerous than Portsmouth or Pickering?
The EU are about to issue their list of countries which their members can accept visitors from – and the criteria to be on the EU ‘Green’ list is less than 75 cases per 100,000 people. The UK – with 70% of the population having had one jab, and almost 50% having had two, more than qualifies.
Nervousness surrounding the infection rate of the ‘Indian’ variant might force us to wait a little longer, but that’s not definite.
Some EU members, desperate to save their devastated travel businesses with an influx of British holidaymakers and their cash, aren’t waiting for the EU approval.
I keep reminding myself – we are a land of the free
Italy, Spain and Greece are already begging for Brits to return. By the way, more than 50 Greek islands have vaccinated 100% of their inhabitants – they are so desperate for tourists.
And now the government tells us we shouldn’t go anyway.
To add to the confusion, in Whitehall, the left hand doesn’t seem to know what the right hand is doing. The Foreign office regularly issues a list of countries rated safe for non-essential travel (which enables us to purchase travel insurance), and it includes the Canary Islands (Spanish) and the Greek Islands. Both rated Amber by the government.
It’s yet another prime example of how Boris and his doom merchants are using fear to control and manipulate us to a completely unacceptable level.
Since Covid arrived in the UK we have been coerced into mass co-operation and compliance by clever messaging, public health announcements, doom-laden daily press conferences.
We’ve been bombarded with charts and data delivered by a tribe of scientists and medical experts speaking a language only they understand. We’ve been told it’s patriotic to toe the line, save the NHS.
The government uses behavioural scientists to advise key departments the best ways to manipulate us into going along with their restrictions and rules so that they don’t need to introduce unpopular new laws.
I’m certain they would have liked to ban all foreign holidays- but realised such drastic action would go down like a cup of cold sick.
So, they came up with their ridiculous traffic light system of ratings – Red, Amber and Green – which are utterly confusing. They ensured it was expensive to get tested, adding hundreds of pounds to a typical family holiday, and then insist we must submit to house arrest on our return (losing wages in the process).
The icing on the cake? You’ll be under surveillance, just like a criminal.
Ankle tags will be the next step.
Priti Patel is beefing up her army of snoopers, carrying out 100,000 inspections a day, monitoring unpatriotic travellers who dared to enjoy a holiday in Italy, Lanzarote, or Kos.
The thought police are trying to link some harmless sun, fun and sangria with danger, disease, and destruction by issuing a series of pompous public statements.
Health Minister Lord Bethell stood up in the House of Lords and pronounced foreign travel is ‘dangerous’.
More dangerous than attending a football match in Glasgow?
Holidaymakers enjoy the sunshine on Faro beach, Portugal on the first day of the easing of restrictions for International travel
Meanwhile, Environment Minister George Eustice dared to say he thought it was OK to visit anywhere on the ‘Amber’ list to visit family and friends, but was quickly slapped back into line and issued a retraction.
Jonathan Van-Tam, Deputy Chief Medical Advisor told us that a trip to any of these (Amber) destinations would be ‘like jumping into a shark infested pond’.
Or swimming in one of our filthy rivers?
Matt Hancock said ‘holiday at home’.
But some ministers have several homes in the UK – including Boris – so that can’t be too tough.
Finally, Boris stood up in Parliament two days after claiming he was thrilled to offer us more freedom – and had the sheer cheek to announce ‘it’s very, very clear you should not be going to an Amber list country except for extreme circumstances, for example the serious illness of a family member- not a holiday’.
I suppose his dad Stanley’s regular visits to his second home in Greece come under that category.
Boris and Co have decreed that a holiday is ‘not essential’.
Boris has form when it comes to dithering. We went into lockdown in 2020 too late. He dithered when Covid rampaged through India – allowing 20,000 potentially infected people to arrive in the UK in a week before he closed the border. (At a time when Brits couldn’t go on holiday anywhere!)
Now, he has dithered too long over his unworkable holiday road map – but this time, the public have rebelled.
The number of scheduled flights to Greece, France and Italy will soar by 200% in the next three days. Tui – the UK’s biggest operator – has flights to Corfu, Kos, Rhodes, and Cuba.
Over 270,000 people will travel to countries on the Amber list by the end of the weekend. Boris and the doom-mongers have failed, but ordinary folk end up will be paying for his ineptitude.
Has the whole traffic light debacle been dreamt up to placate the Border staff at airports – where under-manning, lack of technology and increased paperwork for each passenger, has seen six-hour queues which shame a first world country? Instead of saving the NHS, are we being duped into saving Passport control?
This year, smoking will kill more people than Covid.
Death rates from all causes are 20% below the five-year average.
Time to let us go on holiday – we’ve stuck to all those rules for months – now we’ve earned some fun.