A leading Labor MP blew up the Home Office today because of the "dangerous" scenes at Heathrow Airport, where passengers with little social distance were forced into massive queues because allegedly no Border Force personnel were available for passport control.
Nick Thomas Symonds, Labor Minister of the Interior for Shadows, described yesterday's scenes at London Airport as "unacceptable" and "dangerous amid a global pandemic".
It comes after chaotic scenes broke out at the Heathrow border gates yesterday when hundreds of passengers were queued after only three officers were left to check the passports.
The travelers, many with young families, even sang "We want more staff" than the queues in the "poorly ventilated" room stretched for at least an hour.
Heathrow Airport described the situation as "totally unacceptable", but was powerless as the gates are controlled by the British border guards.
In the meantime, a Border Force spokesman apologized for the delay today.
The Home Office also promised to work with the airport to ensure that this would not happen again, but did not go into further details.
Chaotic scenes broke out at the Heathrow border gates when hundreds of passengers were queued after only three officers checked their passports
Today Symonds said to MailOnline: & # 39; These scenes at Heathrow Airport show that the Border Force has been overstretched, which is completely unacceptable.
"The Home Office needs to get this problem under control – it is a major inconvenience to travelers, unfair to Border Force personnel and frankly dangerous in the midst of a global pandemic."
A passenger, Natalie Crane, 32, from Surrey, had returned from a vacation in Mallorca with her husband, mother and three young children when she was faced with a two hour delay.
She said: “We were queuing with about 500 or 600 people; There was no social distance, no ventilation – it would have been impossible to distance so many people in the room socially. It was just barbaric.
While central London airport's self-service e-gates were operating, Natalie and dozens of other parents were unable to use them due to age restrictions for children and had to see a border guard.
“After a while, we noticed that only three people were checking the passports at the counters. Then everyone started singing, getting more staff, more staff, that's a shame. 10 minutes later you suddenly have about 10 employees.
"When we complained to one of the employees at the counters that he didn't make people aware that he was available, he replied," Don't go on vacation. "
"There was no sympathy from the staff at all."
The travelers, many with young families, even sang "We want more staff" than the queues in the "poorly ventilated" room stretched for at least an hour
A spokesman for Heathrow Airport told MailOnline that the queues were "completely unacceptable", but the Border Force had forecasting systems to avoid passenger queues on arrival.
The spokesman also asked the Border Force to "sort" its resources to prevent problems from occurring again in the future.
Border Force chief operating officer Emma Moore said: & # 39; Border Force apologizes for the extensive queues and delays at Heathrow Airport. We understand the significant inconvenience and inconvenience this would have caused.
& # 39; We are working with Heathrow Airport to ensure that this does not happen again and that social detachment measures are maintained while coping with the increased number of passengers arriving at the airport.
"We urge travelers to fill out their passenger search forms before traveling to the UK to avoid delays."
The experience offended the violation of the five-member family of MS Crane, which also fell victim to the change in the government's quarantine rule.
“We went to Mallorca last Saturday and on the evening of our arrival we found that Spain was being removed from the list and that the Balearic Islands and Canaries were not exempted.
Heathrow Airport described the situation as "totally unacceptable", but was powerless as the gates are controlled by the British border guards
“I can't say it ruined the vacation because when we were there we knew we had to try to enjoy it. But it was disheartening, especially if you also have your children with you.
"I think I would have been more understanding if I had been in one of the areas with the highest cases in Spain, but I am on the island of Mallorca."
All flights in Heathrow are currently operated from Terminals 2 and 5 after the airlines have temporarily moved from Terminals 3 and 4.
Heathrow was expecting 280 aircraft arrivals at the two terminals today.