Covid testing chaos at Heathrow as passengers queue up to four hours
Chrsitmas Covid testing chaos at Heathrow as passengers are forced to queue for up to FOUR HOURS to pick up PCR tests to take on their second day of isolation in UK
- Hundreds have been queueing for arrival Covid tests at Heathrow Airport today
- Passengers in Terminal 2 reported waiting in corridors for up to four hours
- The problem is believed to be down to staff closing a testing centre
- Comes after over 3,000 flights were cancelled worldwide on Christmas Eve
Passengers at Heathrow Airport today faced more travel chaos as they were forced to queue for hours because of problems with arrival testing facilities.
Images from Terminal 2 show endless lines of weary travellers in corridors waiting to get their Covid test.
Some irate passengers have reported waiting up to four hours.
It comes after millions of families had their festive plans disruption after more than 3,000 flights were cancelled worldwide on Christmas Eve.
The huge hold-up is believed to have been caused by staff closing one of its testing centres, meaning extra pressure on the one open facility.
Passengers at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 2 today faced more travel chaos as they were forced to queue for hours because of problems with arrival testing facilities
One angry passenger told MailOnline: ‘Currently there’s chaos at Heathrow’s Terminal 2 test centre.
‘They appear to have booked in people in two test centres, and then closed one of them – so the queues are insane.
‘I’ve been here for 45 minutes, but been told by a staff member that the wait has been four hours for some people today.
‘The queue is barely moving. Staff are working as hard as they can, but someone has clearly f***ed up. Christmas is very much about to be ruined for myself and most others here.’
MailOnline have contacted Heathrow for comment.
The huge hold-up is believed to have been caused by staff closing one of its testing centres, meaning extra pressure on the one open facility
Britain has been besieged by travel woes in the run-up to Christmas, with rail strikes and line problems cancelling hundreds of trains in the last week.
And yesterday, several airline companies said they had been forced to cancel over 1,500 flights because they were unable to staff them due to the rapidly-spreading Omicron variant.
According to the flight tracking website FlightAware, 2,348 flights were grounded on Christmas Eve, while a further 1,556 have already been cancelled ahead of tomorrow.
The most impacted airlines today were China Eastern with 477 cancellations, United with 189 and Air China with a further 188.
United said the nationwide spike in Omicron cases has had a ‘direct impact’ on its staffing levels, forcing the airline to cancel flights.
Terminal Three at Heathrow Airport – the busiest in the country – was packed with flyers trying to get into the UK for Christmas Day
In the UK, a total of 13 flights – six departures and seven arrivals – were cancelled at Heathrow Airport today, with another 11 – five departures and six arrivals – already cancelled for Christmas Day.
Heathrow travellers were among those complained of having to wait more than three hours to get through passport control with few Border Force staff on hand to help.
Shocking pictures showed hundreds of customers packed into lanes with their luggage as they waited to be processed by officials.
Hundreds of trains continued to be cancelled across the UK as operators were hit by Covid-related staff absences. Pictured: Euston train station on Christmas Eve
Hundreds of trains continued to be cancelled across the UK as operators were hit by Covid-related staff absences.
Almost one in 20 trains were shelved on Monday, and eight operators this week warned of the likelihood of last-minute cancellations.
RAC analysis estimated that there would be 5.3million journeys by people embarking on overnight stays or day trips on Christmas Eve.
Another survey of nearly 2,000 people in Britain for watchdog Transport Focus indicated that 44 per cent plan to travel to spend the festive period with their loved ones.
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