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Arrivals to the UK warned to prepare for disruption at the border

The UK government is making preparations ahead of Border Force strike action at the end of the week, including training military personnel to step in and keep our border safe.

Since strikes, due to begin on Friday 23 December, were announced by the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union, Border Force and the government have undertaken extensive planning to minimise the disruption this action will cause.

Thousands of people, including civil servants and military personnel are ready to support Border Force over this period, many of whom are sacrificing their Christmases to ensure passenger’s travel plans are protected and they get to where they want to be this Christmas.

The government has also 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.

While the government is taking action to minimise disruption, travellers due to arrive in the UK over the Christmas period are 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.

Our 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.

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.

Notes to Editors:

Border Force Strike Dates:

  • 23rd December
  • 24th December
  • 25th December
  • 26th December (until about 7am)
  • 28th December
  • 29th December
  • 30th December
  • 31st December (until about 7am)

Border Force Strike Locations

  • Birmingham Airport
  • Cardiff Airport
  • Gatwick Airport
  • Glasgow Airport
  • Heathrow Airport – Terminals 2,3,4,5
  • Manchester Airport
  • Port of Newhaven

Strikes are not the only factor that might cause disruption, for example adverse weather or flight delays may impact journeys, meaning it is essential for passengers to plan ahead and keep up-to-date with the latest information, through relevant sources including airport and carrier websites.

Source: GOV.UK