Holidays warned about long lines for COVID checks when crossing borders

After the quarantine measures have been relaxed, additional checks will be carried out to increase international travel, so vacationers are preparing for long lines at the border.

Secretary of Transportation Grant Shapps warned on Friday that people should “expect more confusion than usual” for coronavirus-related tests.

Travel agencies accelerate bookings after government announces that double-jab Britons and people under the age of 18 will be exempt from quarantine when returning to the United Kingdom from amber list countries from 19 July I reported that I did.

Mr. Chaps said the minister was “actively working” to accept vaccination certificates from other countries after it was revealed that only passengers with NHS-issued jabs would be exempt. Stated.

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Secretary of Transportation Grant Shaps during a media briefing on Downing Street, London, May 7, 2021. (TolgaAkmen / PA)

He added that most queues take place before returning to the UK, and airlines check the passenger locator form to see if travelers have taken pre-departure tests and booked post-arrival tests. I did.

“Therefore, the place to expect a queue is the airport you’re coming to. When you return to the UK, it’s all starting to be automated,” he told the BBC Breakfast.

“People need to expect more confusion than usual, but I know everyone is working very hard to minimize those queues.”

However, the Immigration Bureau, which represents border officials, warned of delays while “not all are available, not everywhere” while electronic gates are being adopted.

According to spokeswoman Lucy Morton, the peak cue is currently up to 2 hours and can increase to 6 hours on the COVID-19 test. This has to be done by UK border staff regardless of airline checks and takes about three times as long.

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Global COVID-19 cases and deaths by July 8, 2021. (Infographic PA Graphics / PA)

“Checking 100% of COVID arrivals is a political decision, and that’s mainly the issue here,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that the self-quarantine rules for double-jab coronavirus contact We warned that there would be an increase in staff shortages before the change.

“There is still a queue associated with EU withdrawal, and staff will probably be unavailable, especially if the number of self-quarantine surges, as people suggest before August 19th.

“But we need to check four documents for every passenger arriving, but the e-gate is not unified, so we can’t check the pre-departure test certificate. Also, at this time, the status of vaccination. It is also not possible to confirm. If it becomes appropriate, these queues will occur while it remains a political demand. “

This plan means that people returning from amber-listed countries such as France, Spain and Portugal will be as free to travel as they are from green-listed countries if double-jabed.

But now these vaccines must have been given by the NHS.

Shapps told Sky News: “The next step is to be able to recognize apps from other countries and certifications from other countries.

“In places like the EU where digital apps are emerging, it’s easier than in the United States, where I think there are 50 different systems, one for each state.”

According to travel agency Skyscanner, 30 minutes after the amber list was released on Thursday, the number of searches in the UK increased by 53% compared to the previous day.

Northern Ireland is likely to follow the changes from July 26, and Scotland and Wales are considering whether to adopt the same rules.

By Sam Blewett and Gavin Cordon

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