Travel industry demands escape route as hotel quarantine begins amid airport concerns

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Meanwhile, last-minute discussions are taking place between the government, unions, airports and hoteliers about the hotel quarantine operation.

Heathrow airport, the main arrival point for the UK, said it may be necessary to cancel some flights so the UK Border Force is unable to cope.

A spokesperson said: “Queues at the border in recent days of almost five hours are totally unacceptable.

“Ministers need to ensure there is adequate resource and effective processes at the border to avoid compromising the safety of passengers and those working at the airport, which could necessitate the suspension of some arriving flights.”

A government spokesperson said: “We are working closely with airports and hotels to manage any issues that arise and ensure the new process runs as smoothly as possible.”

Trades unions have called for protection for UK Border Force staff, hotel employees and security personnel.

There are also concerns about the high cost that passengers must pay. An individual traveller is obliged to pay £1,750, or £159 per night, for accommodation and three meals.

But industry sources said hotels will receive less than half this sum, with the remainder going on security, transportation and the two necessary Covid tests.

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