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UK Heathrow Airport Opens Terminal for ‘Red List’ Countries Like India | India News


LONDON: LondonBusy Heathrow Airport on Tuesday opened a new exclusive terminal for arrivals from countries designated as a “red list”, such as India, due to an increased risk of Covid-19 transmission.
Travelers on direct flights from those destinations will now go through Terminal 3 and then be transferred directly to a government-approved quarantine facility reserved on behalf of passengers.
It comes after London airport staff had expressed concerns for their safety due to overcrowding, amid concerns that travelers arriving from red-list countries, from where travel is effectively banned except for citizens. British and Irish or limited exceptions, were mixed with those of the green and amber countries.
“Red list routes will likely be a feature of UK travel for the foreseeable future as countries vaccinate their populations at different rates,” said a Heathrow airport spokesman.
“We are adapting Heathrow to this longer-term reality by initially opening an exclusive arrivals facility in Terminal 3 from June 1 for Red List passengers arriving on direct flights. Although the opening of this facility will be logistically very challenging, we hope it will be to allow the Border Force to carry out its functions more efficiently as passenger volumes increase in line with the green list. Until then, the current red list system will remain in place. place, ”said the spokesperson.
There are currently 43 countries on the UK government’s red list to cover regions linked to high-risk Covid-19 variants, such as India, Brazil, and South Africa.
Under the UK government’s coronavirus rules, anyone who has been to a red list country must pay for hotel quarantine for 10 nights after arrival.
According to officials, the latest system has been designed with multiple layers of Covid-19 security, including mandatory negative COVID-19 testing for all international arrivals, mandatory use of face covers, social distancing, segregation, and improved cleaning regimes. and ventilation in immigration corridors. .
“We will move this facility to Terminal 4 as soon as operationally possible,” the Heathrow spokesman said.
A UK government spokesman said the improved border regime aimed to reduce the risk of transmission of new variants.
“As we reopen international travel safely, we will maintain 100% health checks at the border and Heathrow’s new dedicated terminal for arrivals from red list countries will allow passengers to be processed in the safest and most secure way. efficient as possible, before being transferred to a managed quarantine facility, “the spokesperson said.
The move comes as coronavirus cases in the UK topped 3,000 on Monday for the sixth day in a row, and this number has not been surpassed since April 12.
The highly communicable variant B1.617.2, first identified in India and now called ‘Delta’ by the World Health Organization, is believed to be largely behind this rise in infections and scientists recommend caution before all Covid-19 lockdown restrictions are fully lifted as planned. for June 21.
The coronavirus has killed 128,045 people in the UK, along with 45,03,231 confirmed cases so far, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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