Mateusz Maszczynski is a serving international flight attendant with experience…
There was just one Border Force officer on duty to process thousands of passengers arriving at London’s Heathrow Airport on Saturday morning claimed tabloid newspaper The Daily Mail which cited some witnesses who had waited for over three hours to cross the border.
The newspaper called the scenes ‘Bedlam at the Border’ which are believed to have been caused in part by England’s ‘pingdemic’ in which more than 600,000 people in one week have been ordered to self-isolate through the NHS contact tracing app.
Fears of food shortages and fuel rationing have forced the government to release some essential workers from quarantine but surging infection rates have led to a high number of absences.
By Saturday afternoon the situation appeared to have improved with few complaints about lengthy wait times from arriving passengers.
The government previously tried to discourage travellers from going on international trips by saying they could face queue times of up to six hours to cross the border on their return as border officials would be manually checking COVID-19 travel documentation like test certificates and passenger locator forms.
In recent weeks, however, ministers have dropped that policy with the exception of arrivals from high-risk Red List countries. Some scientists are concerned the more relaxed approach could increase the risk of COVID-19 variants being imported.
Heathrow says it expects this weekend to be the busiest since the start of the pandemic as travel restrictions are rolled back for fully vaccinated travellers.
Passengers have previously complained about the lack of social distancing while waiting to cross the border. The British government has resolved that issue by dropping social distancing and face mask rules in England.
Mateusz Maszczynski is a serving international flight attendant with experience at a major Middle East and European airline. Mateusz is passionate about the aviation industry and helping aspiring flight attendants achieve their dreams. Cabin crew recruitment can be tough, ultra-competitive and just a little bit confusing - Mateusz has been there and done that. He's got the low down on what really works.