Just hours before India joins the red list of countries from which hotel quarantine is required, it has emerged that London Heathrow rejected requests by airlines to add extra flights.
The UK’s leading airport, which is handling between 10 and 15 per cent of its pre-pandemic passengers, turned down additional arrivals because of fears about long queues for UK Border Force.
Heathrow’s executives have said arriving travellers are waiting up to six hours to be processed at passport control. The airport blames insufficient resourcing by UK Border Force.
From 4am on Friday, all passengers arriving from India will need to pay upwards of £1,750 for 11 nights in hotel quarantine and two PCR tests.
India will become the 40th nation on the UK red list – and more than double the total population of countries from which hotel quarantine is required.
The decision was taken due to soaring infection rates and fears about a new coronavirus variant.
Ministers gave 86 hours of warning of the decision, compared with almost a week when Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Kenya were added to the red list earlier this month.
Many extra flights from Pakistan were operated to boost capacity ahead of the deadline…