Heathrow fears border crisis if overseas travel resumes in May
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Heathrow fears border crisis if overseas travel resumes in May

The head of Heathrow airport has warned of the risk of a crisis from a thinly staffed border force struggling to cope with Covid-related passenger checks if overseas holidays restart next month.

John Holland-Kaye, chief executive, said the UK’s busiest airport had already had to turn away flights because of the congestion at immigration, despite the 90 per cent fall in passenger volumes.

“We’re calling on the home secretary to make every desk manned at peak times so this doesn’t become a crisis point,” he said.

Queues for border checks have averaged about two hours, he added. However, they have stretched beyond six hours at certain points due to the small number of Home Office staff deployed to handle an increasing load of paperwork related to Covid-19.

The government is expected to announce early next month the initial “green list” of countries that are safe to travel to when international travel is…

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