Posted: Thu 22nd Dec 2022

People arriving to UK warned to prepare for disruption at the border

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Dec 22nd, 2022

Passengers using six of the UK’s busiest airports including Manchester are facing disruption as passport control staff begin eight days of strikes.

Nearly 1000 Border Force workers are walking out in a row over pay and jobs.

The Home Office says it’s been working to minimise delays for passengers.

Border Force staff who are members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union voted to strike from Friday, the 23rd of December, to Monday, the 26th of December, as well as from the 28th to the 31st of December.

The government said it has undertaken extensive planning to minimise the disruption at passport control desks and entry points into the UK.

Thousands of people, including civil servants and military personnel are being deployed to support Border Force over the strike period, “to ensure passenger’s travel plans are protected and they get to where they want to be this Christmas.”

The UK government said it has been working closely with ports, airports and the travel industry to “understand the impact of strike action, to minimise delays for passengers and ensure the flow of goods through the border.”

Travellers due to arrive in the UK over the Christmas period are being warned to expect delays and disruption over the strike action affecting border control.

“Passengers should be prepared for longer wait times and should check with their travel agents, tour operators and airlines/carriers about possible disruptions to their journey prior to travelling.” The UK government has warned.

“eGates will continue to function as per normal and we encourage all those eligible to use them to do so, as the quickest and most efficient way to pass through border control.”

A spokesperson for Manchester Airport said:

“Following the announcement of industrial action by UK Border Force (UKBF) staff at several UK airports – including Manchester – we have been working closely with the Home Office and others to understand the impact this will have, minimise disruption to our operation and support the safety and wellbeing of colleagues and passengers.”

“The industrial action will take place on 23, 24, 25, 26 and 28, 29, 30 and 31 December, during which time we will continue to operate our full flight schedule.”

“We do not anticipate the need for cancellations and passengers do not need to change their travel plans, unless advised otherwise by their airline.”

“There is a likelihood that waiting times at the Border will be – at times – longer than usual on these days, and we will provide whatever support we can to ensure passengers’ arrival back into Manchester is as smooth as possible.”

Steve Dann, Border Force Chief Operating Officer, said:

“We apologise for any disruption caused to travellers entering the UK.”

“Border Force’s number one priority to is keep our citizens safe and borders secure.”

“We are working together with partners across the travel industry to ensure we can continue to meet critical demand and support the flow of passengers and goods through our border.”

“During the periods of industrial action, travellers should be prepared for disruption.”

“We encourage everyone to check the latest advice from your operators before travelling.”

 

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