Heathrow Airport has come under fire after a picture emerged of large crowds not socially distanced inside Heathrow’s Terminal 2 sparking fears of a super-spreading.
The image was posted on social media by former British Ambassador Sir Peter Westmacott who captioned it “T2 Heathrow Friday afternoon. No ventilation. Long delays. Super spreading.”
Under current travel restrictions only essential travel is allowed but despite this large queues have been seen at the airport over recent days.
Labour’s Yvette Cooper took to Twitter to ask “Has there been any response from @ukhomeoffice @UKBorder @transportgovuk @HeathrowAirport to this? A year into the crisis, how on earth could this still be allowed to happen? What urgent action has been taken to stop it? Why are Ministers still not taking this seriously enough?”
Heathrow Airport is privately owned and a spokesperson for the UK Government said it was “ultimately up to individual airports to ensure social distancing on site”
Heathrow Airport has previously said that social distancing in an airport environment was a challenge saying: “We’ve been clear since last May really that social distancing in an airport environment isn’t really possible.
“To put that in context, if you had one aircraft of let’s say 300 people, you’d need a queue about 1km long to socially distance just one aircraft, which is why last summer we mandated face coverings in the airport.”
UK Border Force is responsible for checking that inbound and outbound travellers meet the requirements to travel under the current restrictions. They have not responded with a statement.