21 July 2021

Reaction to Border Force staff not having to do amber and green list Covid checks

In a leaked document, staff at the border will no longer have to check whether new arrivals have received a negative Covid test.

Other checks include whether they booked a test within the coming days, or have a passenger locator form showing an address where they will isolate if necessary. 

Included in the instruction to Border Force staff revealed by the Guardian was:  

  • Officers are not required to routinely check for a passenger locator form or pre-departure testing or tests to be taken on day two and eight after arrival. 

  • Where the IT system indicates a passenger locator form has not been found, officers are not required to check for the form, or question the passenger unless the passenger displays other “warning or behavioural indicators to suggest non-compliance”. 

  • Electronic gates (eGates) will no longer refer passengers to in-person checks by Border Force officers if a passenger locator form is not found. 

PCS believes that it is extremely dangerous for new arrivals not to be subject to Covid safety checks. Without making these checks, we don't know the Covid status of individuals entering the country which means the virus could be transmitted unnecessarily. This has come about because the government refuses to invest properly in staff numbers at the same time as traveller numbers increase.