Heathrow has reopened Terminal 3 as a dedicated terminal for passengers arriving from countries listed as red countries by the UK. This is due to increasing concerns of passengers mixing queues during immigration. The terminal which had been closed for one year is now accepting travelers from 43 countries on the UK red list, although direct flights are permitted from only a few of them, including India. For countries on the red list, Covid-19 prevalence is assessed to be high and there is evidence to suggest community transmission of variants of concern.
Only British and Irish nationals or UK residents are allowed to travel from countries on the red list and upon arrival they will be required to go to a government approved hotel where they will quarantine for 10 days. Currently anyone who has been in a red list country ten days prior to travel, is required to pay for quarantine in a hotel for ten nights after their arrival.
A Heathrow Airport spokesperson said: “Red list routes will likely be a feature of UK travel for the foreseeable future as countries vaccinate their populations at different rates. We are adapting Heathrow to this longer-term reality by initially opening a dedicated arrivals facility.”
Heathrow added that its dedicated arrivals site would be switched to Terminal 4 “as soon as operationally possible”.
This comes hot on the heels of the addition of a further 7 countries to UKs red list. The additional countries include Afghanistan, Bahrain, Costa Rica, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Trinidad & Tobago.
This is a move by the UK government to address increased concern regarding the spread of the Delta variant (India strain). According to data published on GISAID, 68 cases of the Delta variant of concern have been identified in Portugal which has been added to the amber list.
England’s traffic light list will be reviewed every three weeks, and countries can be moved at short notice. There are similar rules for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland so keep checking our website for updates or call us for up to date travel information.