UK govt warns travellers of border delays during strike
Travellers arriving in the UK in the coming days have been warned to “prepare for disruption” at the border.
Border Force staff are due to go on strike for eight days between Friday (23 December) and 31 December in a dispute with the government over pay. The strike will affect six of the UK’s busiest airports: Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff and Glasgow.
The government has been training military personnel to “step in and keep our border safe” at the affected airports, as well as the port of Newhaven where strike action is also being taken.
But it warned in a statement: “While the government is taking action to minimise disruption, travellers due to arrive in the UK over the Christmas period are warned to expect delays and disruption over the strike action affecting border control.
“Passengers should be prepared for longer wait times and should check with their travel agents, tour operators and airlines/carriers about possible disruptions to their journey prior to travelling.”
Automated eGates will continue to operate as normal and eligible passengers are being encouraged to use them on the strike days as the quickest way to get through the border.
Steve Dann, Border Force’s chief operating officer, said: “We apologise for any disruption caused to travellers entering the UK.
“Border Force’s number one priority to is keep our citizens safe and borders secure. We are working together with partners across the travel industry to ensure we can continue to meet critical demand and support the flow of passengers and goods through our border.
“During the periods of industrial action, travellers should be prepared for disruption.”
The strikes by Border Force staff will run from 23-26 December and then 28-31 December.