Arrivals complained of long queues at London’s Heathrow Airport today after a large number of security staff were pinged to self-isolate by the NHS Covid-19 test and trace app.
Snaking queues for security and check-in appeared at Heathrow Terminal 5 as a surge in customers after the travel restrictions were lifted.
The airport later confirmed passenger congestion in Terminal 5 departures was due to “colleagues being instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.”
“We have activated additional team members to assist passengers with their journeys, and the operation has now returned to normal. We apologise to our passengers for any inconvenience caused,” said a Heathrow spokesperson.
Last week the government hinted to change the way of the NHS test and trace app to instruct people for self-isolation as Covid-19 cases expected to rise over the summer.
Ministers have been warned millions of people could be ordered to self-isolate by the NHS app, with infections expected to hit around 100,000 cases per day.
Businesses concerned staff and customers will need to self-isolate despite the government’s decision to ease capacity restrictions on pubs, restaurants and other public events on July 19 in England.
Meanwhile, figures released by Heathrow earlier this morning showed passenger numbers in June were still nearly 90 per cent down compared to pre-pandemic numbers in 2019.
The airport urged the government to reopen travel to fully vaccinated people from more countries as the country soon moves to the final stage of unlocking Covid-19 restrictions.
“While it’s fantastic news that some double-vaccinated passengers will no longer need to quarantine from amber countries, Ministers need to extend this policy to US and EU nationals if they want to kickstart the economic recovery,” said John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s chief executive.