‘Total chaos’ predicted for holidaymakers at Heathrow by end of week – with massive quarter mile queues to get worse


HOLIDAYMAKERS are being warned of “total chaos” at airports this week due to new computer systems being overwhelmed by passengers.

A new £372m security database was launched by the Home Office at the end of June – although has already seen huge problems after it was rushed through to replace the previous out-of-date system.

Brits are being warned of "total chaos" at Heathrow this weekend

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Brits are being warned of “total chaos” at Heathrow this weekendCredit: Reuters

Last weekend, Brits saw quarter-mile queues at Heathrow Airport after the e-gates broke down, meaning all arrivals had to be checked by immigration officers at the border.

And with more people travelling abroad as the peak summer season begins, there are fears of even more delays when families return.

A source told the Daily Mail: “The peak hasn’t even started yet. It’s going to be total chaos by the end of the week.

“I can’t see any scenario where there isn’t going to be chaos when those larger numbers of passengers who went away as soon as schools broke up begin to return to the UK in the next few days.”

The new system, which checks passengers names against terrorism records as well as the Police National Commuter, warned in a report back in March that there is “no proof” it can cope with pre-Covid passenger numbers.

It stated: “Due to low passenger numbers resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, Border Crossing has not been operationally tested at the scale it is expected to require based on passenger number expectations outside of the unique circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

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CAN’T COPE

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.

Lucy Moreton head of ISU immigration union previously warned they were “not set up to cope with that demand,” according to The Times.

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Not only are more people travelling than during Covid, but new resrtictions range include the Passenger Locator Forms as well as Covid tests, proof of vaccine and evidence of quarantine hotel bookings.

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.

Holidaymakers were stuck in long queues over the weekend after he e-gates broke down

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Holidaymakers were stuck in long queues over the weekend after he e-gates broke downCredit: EPA
Other travellers have seen long queues in recent weeks due to the increased Covid checks at the border too

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Other travellers have seen long queues in recent weeks due to the increased Covid checks at the border tooCredit: Reuters
Brits hit by huge queues at Heathrow Airport AGAIN due to staff shortages and broken e-gates





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