Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5 has seen queues of about a quarter of a mile as the Home Office’s £327m security database keeps crashing plus one in four staff are in self-isolation.
Coronavirus has been spreading amongst staff at the airport with one in four being told to self-isolate, which has also exacerbated continued problems at Heathrow.
Passengers are being rejected at the e-Gates after the Border Crossing, or security database kept “crashing repeatedly” on Sunday forcing immigration officers to check everything manually.
The e-Gates are also rejecting passengers who have arrived at Heathrow as there are problems scanning passenger locator forms.
A source told The Times newspaper, “If you put a space or dot where there shouldn’t be one, [the gate] just rejects it.”
Tom Kibasi, deputy chairman of an NHS mental health trust, tweeted a photo showing a huge queue “stretching the full length of Heathrow Terminal 5,” which is the equivalent to around a quarter of a mile.
— Tom Kibasi (@TomKibasi) August 1, 2021
Millions of holidaymakers are leaving for holidays and also returning back to the UK and as a result insiders have predicted there will be “total chaos” at Heathrow.
One Border Force 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.
“Border Crossing is falling down all the time, and when it goes down, it stays broken for days. It’s particularly vulnerable when there are higher numbers of travel.
“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.”
A Heathrow spokesman said, “Waiting times at the border have on occasion been unacceptable and we have called on the UK government to address the problem as a matter of urgency.”
A Home Office spokesperson said, “Border Force works hard to ensure it has the right level of resources to check that passengers are compliant with our border health measures and to maintain border security as travel continues to open.
“We know the valuable role eGates play in speeding up passenger journeys while maintaining security.
“We are in the process of upgrading our eGates so that they can also check passenger’s health requirements and that work will continue throughout the summer.”