According to the data, the longest immigration queues were on 6 July when travelers from outside the European Economic Area – an area made up of 31 European countries – had to wait in line for up to two hours and 36 minutes. On 30 of 31 days in July, the border force missed its target of a 45-minute wait or less for 95% of visitors from outside the European Economic Area.

He said “only the Border Force” could take action to “resolve these unacceptable queue times”.Craig Kreeger, the boss of Virgin Atlantic, said while it was agreed that security and safety was a priority, other countries were managing their borders better than the UK.”At a time when the UK needs to show the world it is open for business, the government and Border Force need to provide a great first impression for every visitor every time,” he said.

John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s chief executive, has previously called for the Home Office to allow visitors from “low-risk countries” – like the US, he suggests – to be allowed to use the electronic gates.

BBC reporter Jenny Kumah said, the Home Office explained its poor performance in July was worsened by a “large numbers of vulnerable adults and children arriving”, alongside a number of computer errors. The vast majority of people who arrive at Heathrow get through the border within our service standards. But we understand the frustration for those who have experienced long waits and remain fully committed to working with our partners to reduce waiting times as far as is possible. At the same time, we will not compromise the essential checks we carry out at the border which keep our country safe. We are making sure Border Force has the resources it needs and is deploying 200 additional staff at Heathrow over the summer”.

 

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