Heathrow Airport in London, UK, is planning to set up a dedicated terminal for travellers arriving on direct flights from red-list destinations that have a greater risk of Covid-19.
The move comes after the government and the airport authorities faced criticism for making passengers from red list countries queue with other travellers in the arrivals hall.
Beginning from June, passengers arriving from red list countries will transit through terminal three, which was shut down by the airport authorities for the past year.
Passengers will be then moved to a hotel, where they will be quarantined for ten days.
In a statement, Heathrow said: “Our hope is that it will enable Border Force to carry out its duties more efficiently as passenger volumes increase in line with the green list.
“Red list routes will likely be a feature of UK travel for the foreseeable future as countries vaccinate their populations at different rates.
“We’re adapting Heathrow to this longer-term reality by initially opening a dedicated arrivals facility in Terminal 3 from June 1st for red-list passengers arriving on direct flights.”
The airport said that the arrival terminal for those landing from countries on the red list would eventually be moved to Terminal 4 and that the arrangement was likely to be in place for some time.
Going forward, Heathrow Airport plans to move passengers from the red list countries to Terminal 4 upon completion of the necessary arrangements.
The UK has implemented a traffic light system, namely red, amber and green, which segregates countries that have a high risk of Covid-19.
The red list countries have been classified as the countries with a high risk of Covid-19, while the countries with the amber tag are at moderate risk and the countries in the green category are at the least risk.
Officials will be reviewing the list every three weeks and countries can be moved at short notice.
Currently, European Union (EU) is reportedly working on an expanded ‘white list’ of countries, whose citizens can enter the EU freely.