Heathrow opens new facility to process passengers from Red List countries
Heathrow has started processing arrivals from Red List countries at a dedicated terminal over concerns over their mixing with other passengers.
Travelers from Red List countries on direct flights are taken to Terminal 3.
Passengers traveling to the UK on connecting flights from Red List locations continue to transit through the airport alongside those from Green and Yellow countries.
The Red List currently includes 43 countries whose arrivals are known to be at high risk of importing coronavirus.
Passengers arriving in the UK after staying at one of these destinations in the previous 10 days must spend 11 nights in a quarantine hotel, which costs £ 1,750 for solo travelers.
Red List countries from which direct flights to the UK are allowed include India, Philippines, Pakistan, Kenya and Bangladesh.
The decision to separate arrivals on direct flights from Red List destinations has been hailed by the GMB union, which previously warned that “bottlenecks” put passengers and staff at risk.
Heathrow insisted that there were “multiple layers of protection to keep passengers and colleagues safe,” such as mandatory testing for all arrivals, segregation and ventilation.
An airport official said in April that passengers were forced to queue for up to six hours to be processed at immigration halls.
This is the first time Terminal 3 has been in use since April 2020, when it was closed to cut costs amid the collapse in travel demand.
Heathrow plans to move its new Red List arrivals processing facility to Terminal 4 “as soon as operationally possible”.
Meanwhile, Robert Boyle, former chief strategy officer at parent company IAG of British Airways, predicted that Bahrain, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago and Kuwait will be added to the red list “soon” due to rising infection rates.
He wrote in a blog post: “Considering how hot the government is over the delays in adding India to the Red List, you might wonder why the four Red List candidates failed. not already been added.
“But ministers are also under heavy pressure to open up travel, not only from beleaguered airlines and other travel agencies, but also from the media which is angry at what many see as restrictions. unwarranted state freedom. “