Air passenger from South Africa reveals she walked through Heathrow in 10 minutes with NO checks despite mutant strain

A PASSENGER travelling from South Africa has revealed that she walked through Heathrow airport in 10 minutes with NO checks.

Sharon Feinstein, from Islington, North London, claims she went through the terminal with no questions, despite flying from Johannesburg – where the mutant Covid strain is rife.

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The traveller landed in London Heathrow yesterday after visiting her mum in South Africa – but was just ushered through passport control.

Despite having documents to prove she had a negative test, there was no one to show it to, Ms Feinstein claims.

She told the Daily Express: "I could have had Covid, they don't know where I am staying, they didn't ask. 

"As a country we're messing up. Why can a third-world country get it right and we can't?"

Ms Feinstein added that she was "shocked" that it only took her 10 minutes to get through the airport control.

She told Good Morning Britain today: "I was shocked. I fully expected to take around a hour.

"I had my negative Covid test, I had my passenger locator form, I had various other forms.

"We were all queuing up, then I was ushered towards the electronic booth.

"I was literally through there in 10 minutes. Nobody was there. I was looking around for someone to show my test to."

Passengers arriving in the UK will have to take two Covid tests during their 10-day isolation – even if they're allowed to quarantine at home, rather than at a hotel.

The plans were revealed as the country toughens up its borders amid fears over vaccine-busting mutations of the virus.

People arriving from 'red list' countries will have to spend a week and a half under guard in hotels.

But even those coming in from other, safer locations will now be tested twice during their mandatory isolation.

The proposals will be introduced on February 15 – the same date hotel quarantines will come into force.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: "Throughout the pandemic, the Government has put in place proportionate measures, informed by the advice of scientists, that have led to some of the toughest border regimes in the world.

"Enhancing our testing regime to cover all arrivals while they isolate will provide a further level of protection and enable us to better track any new cases which might be brought into the country, and give us even more opportunities to detect new variants."

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has advised against all but essential travel to the whole of South Africa.

Direct flights from South Africa have been suspended after the country experienced a new wave of coronavirus relating to a new variant.

The new variant found in South Africa has already been noted as being more contagious than the normal strain.

Visitors arriving into the UK who have been in or transited through South Africa in the previous 10 days will not be permitted entry.

British and Irish citizens, and third country nationals with residence rights in the UK will still be able to enter via indirect routes from South Africa.

You will be required to complete a passenger locator form and must self-isolate for ten days after your arrival, along with your household.

If you only hold a visit visa for travel to the UK, you will not be able to enter if you have been in South Africa in the past 10 days. 

And from February 15, travellers arriving from South Africa will have to spend 10 days in a quarantine hotel.

And now, more than 200,000 passengers from the 'red list' countries are set to enter the UK before rules forcing them to quarantine in hotels on arrival come into force.

Passenger data shows around 205,000 are expected to enter the country from the 33 countries in the next week.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has refused to rule out making lockdown longer if the South African variant continues to spread.

The Prime Minister was speaking after a study found the Oxford vaccine offers minimal protection in preventing mild disease caused by the strain.

He yesterday vowed vaccines are "remain of massive benefit to our country" but failed to dismiss extending the current restrictions.

The PM said: "We're very confident in all the vaccines that we're using.

"I think it's important for people to bear in mind that all of them, we think, are effective in delivering a high degree of protection against serious illness and death, which is the most important thing."

A total of 13 areas in the UK are currently rolling out mass door-to-door testing after various Covid variants were detected in certain postcodes.

The new Kent coronavirus variant has been found in Manchester – sparking a Covid doorstep testing blitz for another 10,000 Brits.

Thousands of extra tests will be rolled out in the region from Tuesday after two unconnected households were found to be infected with the E484K mutation, Manchester City Council said.

And Brits living in areas of Sefton, Merseyside, and parts of Bristol and South Gloucestershire will be able to get a test after cases of the South Africa variant was found.

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