Airport passenger queues

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

At the start of the year, there were media stories about the length of time it took to go through passport control at ferry ports. Those stories have gone away, hopefully as a result of officials getting used to the system and people’s familiarity with what is required.

an airport queue at Gatwick
We would all like to think that this won’t happen?

The same can’t be said about the media stories about the length of queues at airports.

Reports of six hour queues will do nothing to put confidence into people who are still unsure about whether it is worth travelling abroad after May 17th. Especially since, at the moment, it is illegal to travel abroad except for work and in exceptional circumstances. Therefore, few people are travelling through airports in comparison to pre-pandemic days.

What will it be like when the numbers moving through airports jump by a factor of five, ten or fifty fold?

On the assumption that the rules currently in place will apply after the ban on overseas travel is lifted, exactly what are the problems?

The first is that people travelling may not have the right documentation available for inspection. You need to download and complete a travel declaration form which you can download by going to https://travel-declaration.dft.gov.uk/ or clicking here.

The second is that you should carry with you a certificate showing that you have been fully vaccinated at least twenty-one days before your date of travel ( some countries allow fourteen days) if you have been. If you haven’t been vaccinated (and even if you have been because some countries will demand it) you should take proof of having taken a negative PCR test within 72 hours of your flight and preferably your destination arrival time.

Thirdly you should have completed a Passenger Locator Form for the destination to which you are travelling and upload that. Take a paper copy or a QR code on your mobile just in case.

Finally, try to fly direct just in case a country in which you have to change flights sees a sudden spike in cases between your book and travel dates.

And yes, if you plan on flying in the first weeks after we are allowed to travel abroad expect delays as the systems bed down. After that, touch wood, things should speed up.

By the way; don’t forget in this post Brexit world that queues may be longer at the return destination as well.

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