UK warns arrivals from Europe to ‘expect delays’ due to border force strike

The UK government has warned that people arriving into the country from Europe over Christmas should expect delays and disruption as border guards go on strike from Friday.

UK warns arrivals from Europe to 'expect delays' due to border force strike
Photo by Ben FATHERS / AFP

The UK Border Force begins a strike on Friday, December 23rd, that is expected to cause major delays and disruption at airports and some ports.

Travellers were warned in a statement: “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.”

The Public and Commercial Services Union, which represents the majority of border staff at airports, has called a strike between December 23rd and 31st, not including December 27th.

READ ALSO Do UK border strikes affect ferries, trains and the Channel Tunnel?

It is part of a wave of strikes hitting the UK as workers including nurses, paramedics, postal staff and rail workers strike for pay rises to help them cope with the soaring cost of living.

The disruption is expected to be concentrated at airports, although the ferry port of Newhaven is also affected, and is likely to lead to extremely long queues at passport control – some are predicting waits of up to 10 hours.

Affected sites are; Birmingham Airport, Cardiff Airport, Gatwick Airport, Glasgow Airport, Heathrow Airport – Terminals 2,3,4,5, Manchester Airport and Port of Newhaven.

It could also cause some flight cancellations and delays if passengers are not able to disembark at UK airports – travellers are advised to check with their airline before going to the airport.

The UK government has drafted in some members of the military to help run passport control, but this is likely to be a very limited service. 

Those travelling to the UK should also be aware of significant disruption on the railways, also due to strike action. 

You can find full details of travel between France and the UK HERE, or head to Local sites in Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Austria and Denmark for the latest on travel.

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Reader question: Will there be any strikes in Italy over Easter?

Transport strikes are a frequent occurrence in Italy, but will there be any walkouts over the Easter holidays? Here’s what we know.

Reader question: Will there be any strikes in Italy over Easter?

Question: “I’m travelling to Italy over the Easter break and I wondered if there will be any strikes?”

Transport strikes are hardly unusual in Italy, with at least two or three national demonstrations taking place each month and a number of regional or local walkouts being held each week. 

Strike action has been particularly frequent over the past couple of months as rail, airline and public transport services were all disrupted by union-backed demonstrations on multiple occasions, causing delays or, at times, even cancellations for travellers.

But will the trend continue over Easter, affecting the travel plans of residents as well as international visitors?

READ ALSO: Calendar: The transport strikes to expect in Italy this spring

There currently are no transport strikes planned between Thursday, April 6th and Thursday, April 13th, so, as things stand, travellers shouldn’t expect to face any strike-related disruption during the holidays. 

Bus station in Rome

There currently are no planned strikes in Italy between Thursday, April 6th and Thursday, April 13th. Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

However, it bears pointing out that, under Italian law, all transport strikes scheduled to take place on the 11th day from the date when they were first communicated to the Transport Ministry, can be legally held.

So, for the sake of argument, unions could still plan a strike for Easter Sunday – which falls on April 9th this year – provided that they notified the Transport Ministry by the end of Thursday, March 30th.

That said, scenarios like the one above are highly unlikely given that nearly all transport strikes in Italy are announced at least a month before their scheduled date.

On a different note, while the Easter holidays shouldn’t be affected by any transport staff walkouts, services might run on a reduced schedule on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday as both days are national holidays in Italy. 

As a result, those planning on travelling on those dates are advised to check the orari festivi (holiday schedules) of the relevant transport providers.

You can keep up to date with the latest strike news from Italy HERE.