Heathrow Airport to set up red list arrivals facility

Travellers from red list countries will have to comply with more stringent rules

Passengers wait at check-in desks in the departures hall in Terminal 5 at London Heathrow Airport in London, U.K., on Monday, May 17, 2021. After a year of false starts, rogue virus strains and vaccine drama, Brits are finally able to travel again, if only to a handful of “green list” destinations that won’t require quarantine on return. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg
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London's Heathrow Airport will set up a dedicated arrivals facility for passengers entering the UK from countries deemed to pose a high risk from Covid-19.

Concerns were raised that people arriving from the 43 countries on Britain’s red list were mixing with those from amber and green list countries.

Travellers from red list countries have to comply with stricter rules, which include quarantining at a government-approved hotel for 10 days.

Only 12 countries and territories are on the green list, deemed to pose the lowest risk.

"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,” said a representative for Heathrow.

"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."

Airport staff raised concerns about overcrowding at the airport, with passengers being “stuck in a bottleneck”.