Brits hit by huge queues at Heathrow Airport AGAIN due to staff shortages and broken e-gates

FAMILIES returning through Heathrow Airport were hit with huge queues again over the weekend due to a shortage of staff and broken e-gates.

More Brits are heading abroad as restrictions are lifted, with people who visit countries on the green list no longer required to quarantine when they get home.

And from today, arrivals from the EU and the US can skip quarantine if they are fully vaccinated.

However, travellers have repeatedly faced long queues at the airport due to problems at the border as well as a shortage of staff due to Covid.

According to The Times, one in four Border Force staff were off over the weekend due to a Covid outbreak, with just 80 members out of 300 processing arrivals.

There were also problems with the e-gates which caused huge delays – in recent weeks, passengers faced problems trying to use the e-gates after they had not updated to reflect the new travel rules.

Twitter user Tom Kibasi posted images of the long queues, adding it was “stretching the full length of Heathrow Terminal 5”.

Another person replied: "It’s the same today. Can’t imagine how bad it will be when travel reaches something near capacity."

In a bid to speed up the long queues, Border Force no longer have to check all Passenger Locator Forms from incoming arrivals, and they can also ignore the NHS Covid app if pinged, due to the "test to return to work" scheme.

Some arrivals were even told to lie on their forms last month after they had not been updated in regards to the new amber rules which lets double jabbed Brits skip quarantine.

🔵 Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest updates

Officials have already warned travellers to expect a very different airport experience which includes long queues when on holiday.

Lucy Moreton head of ISU immigration union previously 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.”

More restrictions are set to be lifted this week in the next travel review, while ministers are expected to lift the rules which forces travellers to quarantine in the UK if they have arrived through red list country travel hubs.

    Source: Read Full Article