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Passengers arriving at UK airports today described scenes of 'pandemonium' after the introduction of 14-day quarantine rules requiring them to fill out an online form

by Shawnee Seyler (2020-07-09)


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Passengers arriving at UK airports today described scenes of 'pandemonium' after the introduction of 14-day quarantine rules requiring them to fill out an online form.

Travellers told of three-hour wait times at Manchester Airport, some said the QR codes they were asked to scan did not work and others claimed 'snotty' border guards were saying they should have filled in the arrival form before landing. 

Travellers must give their phone number and an address for self-isolation, but about half of passengers arriving at UK airports yesterday were unaware of the new policy. 

Health Minister Helen Whately was asked on Sky News today how many people were placed in quarantine yesterday, but replied: 'I don't have the data you're asking for.'

She added: 'Because I'm a health minister with oversight of care homes and the NHS workforce...

page1-93px-IT%27S_TIME_TO_REACT_%28IA_goThere is a policy of quarantining arrivals in this country, and the reason we're doing it is because it's so important to us to keep infection down.' 

Home Office sources said e-gates are still operational at airports but Border Force teams can decide to close these for operational reasons such as low demand. 

At Manchester Airport today, Lin, 69 and Adrian Shepherd, 67, from North Wales, have flown from Sydney via Doha, Qatar.

They said: 'It's been horrendous. We have had no help and had snotty border police staff telling us we should have looked on the website before we landed'

Barkat Hussein, 71, and wife Nusrat Begum, 64, have spent the last four months stuck visiting family in Kashmir, Pakistan, but today returned home to Preston, Lancashire, via Islamabad.

Speaking at Manchester Airport today, Mr Hussein said: 'The flight was only seven and half hours so luckily we were able to fill out the form before we set off'

Speaking at Manchester Airport today, salesman Shan Khan (right), 28, of Bradford, told MailOnline: 'I had to give my address, phone number as well as another emergency number.

I was told I had to quarantine for 14 days but I already knew this.

At Manchester Airport today, Lin, 69 and Adrian Shepherd, 67, from North Wales, have flown from Sydney, Australia via Doha, Qatar, after becoming stranded by the Covid-19 pandemic for six months while holidaying.

The couple said: 'It's been horrendous.

We have had no help and had snotty border police staff telling us we should have looked on the website before we landed. 

'But we have been in the air for the last 23 hours and we don't have smart phones. It feels a bit too little too late asking us to quarantine now, there's already 60,000 people dead in the UK.

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'We've had six months stranded in Australia with a daily bulletin from the British embassy and they never once mentioned that we would have to do this when we landed. It's absolute chaos in there, it's Lin's birthday today and some way to celebrate this has been.'

Barkat Hussein, 71, and wife Nusrat Begum, 64, have spent the last four months stuck visiting family in Kashmir, Pakistan, but today returned home to Preston, Lancashire, via Islamabad.

Mr Hussein said: 'The flight was only seven and half hours so luckily we were able to fill out the form before we set off.

We don't mind that we have to quarantine, it is what it is, I'm just glad that we managed to get it sorted and avoid the queues in the airport.' 

At Heathrow today, Lisa Willis, 52, from Arkansas, was visiting her long term boyfriend William Davies, 61, from Coventry following months apart.

She said: 'I've got to isolate for two weeks once I get to his house but the lockdown has been a lot worse here than it is in America'

At London Heathrow today, Australian national Holly Fraser was returning to Stoke Newington, North London, from an extended trip to Sydney following the coronavirus outbreak but she was not made aware of the critical form she had to fill out

Canada-born David Bender (pictured at London Heathrow today) felt the UK was taking social distancing and the pandemic much more seriously than other countries

Soheil Lyas, 28, from Blackburn, Lancashire, has been in Pakistan since February.

Today he flew home via Islamabad. He said: 'I think it's really good that they are making us quarantine for health and safety reasons, it's what we should all be doing. We sorted the form before we boarded the flight so we just went straight to the front, we've got no complaints at all.'