Updated: Apr 11
Pressure on the Government to close the UK's borders has increased over the weekend as pictures showing people queuing at Heathrow Airport, with little or social distancing, have continued to circulate.
On Friday, former British ambassador Sir Peter Westmacott posted a photo on Twitter of the crowds at Terminal 2 along with the words: "T2 Heathrow Friday afternoon. No ventilation. Long delays. Super spreading."
Currently, during this lockdown, flying is only permitted for work purposes. Going on holiday is not allowed.
Over the weekend, more people have shared their photos of Heathrow, putting the pressure on the government to take action.
Jonathan Banks, Liberal Democrat PPC for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner, called on the UK Government to “close all airports”.
Mr Banks told Hillingdon Vision:
“The Government have been too nonchalant about the impact of travel on our infection rates – right from the start when they failed to stop people coming into the UK. This has been exacerbated by poor/non-existent testing, tracking, and tracing”.
Bank's comments come as Israel become the latest country to ban all flights in and out of their country to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
On behalf of the Labour group on Hillingdon Council, Kerri Prince, Councillor for Barnhill commented:
"The Government and Heathrow must both take responsibility for the pictures of crowds not social distancing. We understand that there are people who legitimately need to enter and leave the country, but we urge people to also take some level of personal responsibility to prevent the virus from spreading. This is on all of us."
A Government spokesperson commented:
“We are in a national lockdown to protect the NHS and save lives. People should not be travelling unless absolutely necessary. You must have proof of a negative test and a completed passenger locator form before arriving. Border Force have been ramping up enforcement and those not complying could be fined £500.
“It’s ultimately up to individual airports to ensure social distancing on site”.