Fliers warned over ‘5-hour’ queues as first guests check into quarantine hotels

Travellers could face "totally unacceptable" queues of up to five hours at UK airports as passengers are sent to quarantine hotels.

A Heathrow Airport spokesman has warned Border Control staff are likely to struggle with the new rules which will not stop passengers from "red list" countries mixing with other travellers.

Anyone arriving in the UK from 33 'red list' countries must now quarantine in a selected hotel at or near the airport for 10 days and 11 nights.

As the government's quarantine hotel system launches on Monday 15, it is feared the safety of up to 8,000 passengers a day will be risked as a result of extra checks on those entering the country.

Union bosses warned on Sunday that forcing passengers from "red list" countries to quarantine for 10 days in a hotel, is not enough of a defence against mutant coronavirus variants spreading.

It could take Border Control 15 minutes to carry out checks on each 'red list' traveller, doubling the standard time, The Times reports.

A Heathrow spokesman told The Times: "Our key concern remains the ability of Border Force to cope.

"Queues at the border in recent days of almost five hours are totally unacceptable.

"Ministers need to ensure there are adequate resources and effective processes at the border to avoid compromising the safety of passengers and those working at the airport, which could necessitate the suspension of some arriving flights."

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Brits desperately flocked home over the weekend to avoid facing the new quarantine hotel measures.

Stephanie Lvovich, 50, and her 13-year-old daughter Ava, who flew from Dubai to Heathrow Airport, told The Sun: "We booked a flight as soon as we heard about the hotel quarantine."

Tom Weston, 24, had arrived from Doha, Qatar, on Sunday. He told the paper: "I've been very keen to get in. I wouldn't cope well with two weeks in a hotel . . . and the expense."

All guests sent to a quarantine hotel in England will have to pay an individual fee of £1,750 and eat nothing but airline-style food left at their door.

Other strict conditions include guests changing their own sheets and towels and requiring security's assistance for fresh air or a cigarette outside.

Meher Nawab, chief executive of the London Hotel Group, warned that air conditioning could lead to the spread of the virus within the hotels.

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