Travellers queue for up to four hours at Heathrow Airport

Travellers arriving into Heathrow Airport have had to endure hours-long queues before they could enter the country.

Photos taken at Terminal 2 on 11 February showed lengthy queues of passengers waiting to be admitted by UK border force.

Some speculated that the number of arrivals was larger than normal due to passengers wanting to avoid mandatory hotel quarantine, which is being introduced on Monday for all those arriving from 33 “high risk” countries.

The same day, tougher restrictions are being put in place for all travellers – from 15 February, those arriving at English ports will be required to undertake two Covid-19 tests (in addition to presenting a negative test taken within three days of departure) on day two and day eight of their 10-day quarantine.

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Dylan Carter, 23, whose girlfriend was returning from Ukraine, told the Daily Mail that travellers were scrambling to get back to the UK before the new rules come into place.

He described scenes of “absolute bedlam” at Heathrow, adding: “They’ve been stuck in queues for four hours. Officers have been shouting at the crowds saying things like ‘you chose to travel’.”

Having touched down at 11am, his girlfriend only made it through security at around 5pm, claimed Mr Carter.

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The Independent has asked Heathrow Airport for comment.

The new hotel quarantine scheme has already got off to a rocky start. Though the booking portal allowing arrivals to pre-book their accommodation package was due to open on 11 February, within half an hour the site had crashed.

It still appears to be down as of 11am on 12 February.

A spokesperson from the DHSC said: “Rooms are available from Monday 15 February and travellers will be able to book through the site imminently. The website is undergoing maintenance to correct a minor technical issue.”

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