Border policy putting Heathrow workers at risk

20 May 2021
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GMB members providing security and hosting services at Heathrow have raised concerns about overcrowding at Heathrow Airport as arrivals from red list countries mix with those from green and amber.  

Travellers from different lists are stuck in a bottleneck before immigration, mixing without Perspex screens and forced to drink from the same communal water fountain, workers say. 

In terminal 2, security workers escorting red list arrivals report having little or no access to fresh water, food heating and rest areas. 

As soon as the UK opened its borders to India, the situation went 'ballistic’, staff at Heathrow say.  

Now, as local quarantine hotels fill up coaches are having to transport red list travellers further afield, leading to longer queues for coaches and creating further bottlenecks. 

Nadine Houghton, GMB National Officer, said: 

"I have been inundated by messages from concerned GMB members providing a vital service at Heathrow. Workers who desperately want to get the UK flying again but are in fear for theirs and their family's safety.  

"GMB wants to know how the Government will mitigate further problems when more countries are added to colour coded lists? 

“As our quarantine hotels fill up, what measures do Ministers have in place if more countries turn Red?  

“How will they cope with more bottlenecks at Heathrow and potentially elsewhere? 

"GMB wholeheartedly supports the reopening of the sector, but only if this can be done safely, if this is not possible then bailout package specifically for aviation workers must be provided.”   

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