LONDON — London’s Heathrow Airport has reopened a terminal that was mothballed during the coronavirus pandemic to handle passengers now arriving from high-risk countries. Critics say the action should have been taken sooner.
Britain has barred travelers from a “red list” of 43 coronavirus hot spots, including India, Brazil and Turkey. Cases of the COVID-19 variant first identified in India have jumped in the United Kingdom in recent weeks, even as British cases have trended downward.
U.K. nationals and residents returning from “red-list” countries face a mandatory 10-day quarantine in a hotel. Other travelers coming from “amber-list” countries like the United States can do their mandatory 10-day quarantine at home or wherever they are staying in the U.K.
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Critics have complained that “red-list” passengers have been using the same massive airport arrivals hall as travelers from other destinations, though in separate lines, since the hotel quarantines were introduced in February.
Starting Tuesday, “red-list” arrivals will pass through the airport’s Terminal 3, which was closed in April 2020 as international air travel plummeted.
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Heathrow Airport ranked third busiest in the world for international travelers last year, according to Airports Council International. However, it did not make the top 10 list of busiest airports overall.
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