Brit holidaymakers face 20-mile border queues by half-term, warns ferry boss
BRITS heading to the ferry to cross over to Europe face 20-mile queues due to additional Covid checks, the boss of DFDS has warned.
Chris Parker, from ferry service DFDS, said that the new measures of passenger locator forms and vaccine passports are taking much longer to check.
This is likely to cause problems for travellers unless these are eased by Easter, he has warned, as more families are likely to be heading abroad.
He said: “Any sort of significant return in terms of passenger numbers, that’s going to escalate the problem.
“It’s really, really important that we don’t find ourselves around Easter, for example, doing these sort of checks because it simply won’t work.
“The impact would be queues back on to the motorways of Kent, stretching back 10, 20 miles – there’s no question about that – and in fairly short order.”
Travel restrictions in the UK were recently eased, with the pre-departure test scrapped and the expensive day two PCR tests replaced with cheaper lateral flows.
Holiday bookings have already boomed in response, as airlines and tour operators see a 200 per cent increase in holiday bookings.
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Yet Covid isn’t the only problem holidaymakers face – Brits were warned earlier this year to expect huge delays when heading to Europe next year due to new EU rules at the border.
The EU is rolling out their new Entry/Exit System (ESS) which will require additional documents and checks for all non-EU travellers.
With the UK having left the EU due to Brexit, this means Brits can expect longer waiting times when using the ferry ports and Channel Tunnel.
Due to families often driving as a group via car, experts have warned this is likely to result in long queues, as it will be unlike the faster system of e-gates at UK airports.
John Keefe, director of public affairs for Getlink, explained that the Eurotunnel can carry as many as 2,500 passengers an hour.
He warned: “We would be looking at 1,600 to 1,700 passengers per hour to be processed for the first time. That’s an impossible task in the space that we have available.”
Similar problems are also expected to affect Eurostar, with the train’s strategy director adding: “We don’t currently see a practical solution.”
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