UK’s Heathrow Airport opens terminals for red list countries

LONDON: A new terminal opened at the busy London Heathrow Airport on Tuesday especially for arrivals from red-listed countries such as India due to the high risk of spreading COVID-19.

Passengers flying directly from these destinations will now pass through Terminal 3 and then go directly to a government-approved quarantine facility reserved for the passenger’s own expense

This came after London airport officials raised concerns about safety due to overcrowding amid fears that travelers from the UK or Ireland, or travelers from countries on the Red List where travel is effectively prohibited, with a few exceptions, are mingling with those from green and Amber.

“Red list routes will likely be a feature of UK travel for the foreseeable future as countries vaccinate their populations at different rates,” a Heathrow Airport spokesperson said.

“We’re adapting Heathrow to this longer-term reality by initially opening a dedicated arrivals facility in Terminal 3 from 1 June for red list passengers arriving on direct flights. 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,” the spokesperson said.

There are currently 43 countries on the UK government’s red list with regions associated with high-risk strains of COVID-19, such as India, Brazil and South Africa. A 10-day quarantine fee must be paid at the hotel upon arrival.

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