Last week it was announced that UK Border Force was to strike over Christmas at select airports around the country, although at the time we had little idea just what the impact of it would be.
The strikes are due to take place at Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff and Glasgow between 23-26 and 28-31 December, which may cause some delays when arriving back into the country. Home Office officials have confirmed there are contingency measures in place, with the army being trained in checking passports, along with civil servants and volunteers.
It has been confirmed that e-gates will remain open for those who are over the age of 12 and have a machine-readable passport (which is the majority of British passports now), along with select other nationalities such as American and Australian.
Where there are likely to be substantial queues, especially at peak times, are when you don’t have a British passport or can’t use the e-gates, for example when you have children under 12.
This is only applicable for arriving back into the UK during the strike period, if you are travelling outbound you shouldn’t be affected. Airlines are expecting to operate a full schedule, but cautioned there could be some delays.