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    Coronavirus update

    What's happening at Heathrow and how we're looking after and advising our passengers and colleagues

    At Heathrow, our number one priority is always the safety and wellbeing of our passengers and colleagues.

    We continue to work closely with government experts, health professionals and airlines to safely handle flights.  This is a fast-moving situation and we continue to follow the advice of the UK Government on measures and restrictions required.

    NOTE: This information has been prepared based on, and following, the advice of Public Health England and the UK Government.

     

     

    Frequently asked questions

    UK Government restrictions

    Following the UK Government’s lockdown announcement, the airport continues to remain open. 

    The safety of passengers and colleagues is our number one priority and we have implemented several measures to reduce the risk of transmission at the airport, in line with Government advice. Existing measures in place at the airport, which you may now be familiar with, include:

    • Hundreds of hand sanitiser dispensers
    • Social distancing and one way systems
    • Enhanced and more frequent cleaning
    • Mandatory face coverings for all passengers over the age of 11
    • UV cleaning methods, including UV robots
    • Perspex screens
    • Anti-viral cleaning of all key passenger touchpoints   

    We currently require all passengers aged 11 and older to wear a face covering at all times inside our terminal buildings. Please speak to a colleague if you have any concerns or queries about wearing a face covering whilst at Heathrow. 

    Passengers are not permitted to travel for holiday and leisure reasons, and must have a legally permitted reason to travel (such as for work).  More information can be found on the Government website.

    Passengers arriving into the UK should continue to follow the advice of the UK Government and check with their airline or travel operator on arrangements for returning.

    It is a legal requirement for all passengers to:

    • Provide a negative COVID-19 test taken no earlier than 3 days before departing for England.
    • Complete a passenger locator form providing their journey and contact details up to 48 hours before their essential travel.  
    • Quarantine for 10 days (this can be shortened to 5 days through the Test to Release scheme).

    If you are at the airport and experiencing the symptoms of a cough, fever or shortness of breath please make yourself known to the nearest colleague who will be able to support you.

    You are able to drop-off your loved ones as normal, but to help everyone keep safe, you will not be able to enter the terminal if you are not a passenger. 

    During this difficult time, we ask that you only enter the terminal if absolutely necessary. If you are helping someone into the terminal who requires assistance before they have been greeted by the care team, then you are exempt. 

    You can continue to pick up your loved ones from the terminal.  However, if you are not a passenger, you will not be able to enter the terminals. 

    If you are planning to travel during this time of uncertainty and wish to cancel your parking booking, Heathrow has a flexible cancellation policy which allows you to cancel up to two hours before.

    Only our essential retail stores remain open so you can continue to purchase essential items. Food and beverage outlets remain open for takeaway and table service, so passengers can grab a bite to eat.  Some our retailers are offering a pre-pay and collect service.

    In addition, Travelex stores in Terminal 2 and 5 are also open.

    Non-essential stores have closed, in line with the latest Government restrictions.

    Testing

    What are the new testing requirements for entry into England?

    All international arrivals, including UK nationals, are required to present a negative COVID-19 test taken no earlier than 3 days before departing for England, this applies to passengers transiting the UK, as well as those whose final destination is the UK.  For more information, please visit the Government website.

    How will the proof of having a test result be enforced?

    Prior to departure, passengers will need to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test result to their airline, in addition to their passenger locator form. On arrival back into England, Border Force will conduct spot checks to ensure that individuals are compliant with the new rules. If not, passengers will be subject to an immediate fine of £500. These checks will also apply to UK nationals, however children under the age of 11 will be exempt.

    Will passengers still need to quarantine on arrival?

    Passengers arriving into England who have demonstrated a negative result prior to departure, from a country not on the travel corridor list, will have to quarantine but still have the option to reduce the self-isolation period from 10 to 5 days by paying for a test through the Government's Test to Release scheme.

    Passengers can shorten their mandatory 10-day quarantine period by completing a negative COVID-19 test from Day 5 onwards.

    We recommend booking your test before you travel, as you will need to opt into the scheme and enter your test booking details in the Passenger Locator Form, which must be completed on arrival to the UK. If you decide to take part in the Test to Release scheme once you have arrived in England, you will need to update your Passenger Locator Form.

    The test must be taken via the Government's approved list of private testing providers. Both of the independent test providers operating at Heathrow - Expresstest and Collinson are included on the Government's list.

    Some countries require passengers to show proof of a completed, negative, COVID-19 test within certain timeframes of departure. The types of test and timing required vary by country which is why we recommend passengers check the  Foreign Commonwealth Office website for the latest travel information.

    We are working with independent providers to offer different types of testing to fulfil requirements for certain destinations. Read our dedicated page on COVID-19 Testing for more information.

    There are a number of different COVID-19 tests available and the requirements on testing required when travelling vary significantly by country.

    We are working with Government approved, independent testing providers to offer different types of testing to fulfil requirements. Read our dedicated page on COVID-19 Testing for more information.

    For arriving passengers – Passengers can shorten their mandatory 10-day quarantine period by completing a negative COVID-19 test from Day 5 onwards.

    For departing passengers – Please check carefully for any testing requirements, including the type of test, for travelling to different destinations via the Foreign Commonwealth Office website.

    At the airport

    Due to the current Covid-19 restrictions, a limited number of essential shops and restaurants are open in our terminals.  

    Travelex stores in Terminal 2 and 5 remain open.

    For VAT refunds, Travelex will operate a post box service, and process forms when they are able to reopen stores.

    We kindly request that passengers wishing to use this service drop their forms in the dedicated VAT post boxes next to Customs, which can be found in all operating terminals. Please note that your VAT refunds could take up to three months to process. If you have any further queries on this, please kindly contact Travelex directly.

    Should I wear a face covering when I travel?

    We currently require all passengers aged 11 and older to wear a face covering at all times inside our terminal buildings. 

    Please speak to a colleague if you have any concerns or queries about wearing a face covering whilst at Heathrow.

    All passengers should remember the UK Government advises that people should wash their hands often and for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water. You are welcome to use our toilet and washroom facilities for this, or make use of the readily available hand sanitiser dispensers found in hundreds of locations across the airport.

    Where can I get a face covering at Heathrow?

    We currently require all passengers aged 11 and older to wear a face covering at all times inside our terminal buildings.

    If you forget to bring a face covering with you, they are available to purchase from a range of retailers or vending machines at the airport but you may be refused entry to the terminals without one.

    What should I do if I am unable to wear a mask, for example for medical reasons, or if I rely on lip reading?

    We understand that in exceptional circumstances, some passengers may not be able to wear a face covering. The government has issued guidance on who this may apply to. Please be reassured that if this applies to you, you are still welcome to fly and we ask that you notify colleagues in our terminals when you arrive at Heathrow.

    Additionally, you may wish to speak to our colleagues at the Assistance desk before Security about wearing a sunflower lanyard.

    Aside from face coverings, we kindly remind all passengers to practice regular hand washing in our washrooms, sanitiser stations as well as to keep a safe distance from others at all times.

    There is no requirement to arrive at Heathrow early.  Unless explicitly advised otherwise by your airline, please follow the normal guidelines for when to get to the airport, which is two hours for European flights and three hours for long haul flights. These guidelines can be found on our dedicated page.

    If you are still in any doubt, please contact your airline who can confirm.

    The safety of passengers and colleagues is our priority and we are continuing to implement new measures to reduce the risk of transmission at the airport, in line with Government advice.

    Existing measures in place at the airport, which you may now be familiar with, include:

    • Hundreds of hand sanitiser dispensers
    • Social distancing and one way systems
    • Enhanced and more frequent cleaning
    • Mandatory face coverings for all passengers over the age of 11
    • UV cleaning methods, including UV robots
    • Perspex screens
    • Anti-viral cleaning of all key passenger touchpoints  

    A team of dedicated hygiene-technicians, who thoroughly disinfect the airport and answer passenger queries on the methods being used 

    We ask all passengers to continue to follow government advice as best they can while we work to ensure all our passengers have a safe and enjoyable journey.

    Where can I find hand sanitiser facilities at Heathrow?

    Our toilets and washroom facilities are open and stocked with hand soap for you to use.  We have also installed hundreds of hand sanitiser dispensers at key locations across the airport. These facilities can be found in all areas of the terminal including in security entrance areas, toilets, and main concourses.

    Can I still get assistance for my journey through Heathrow?

    We understand that if you have an impairment or mobility difficulties, you may require additional assistance at Heathrow, and would like to reassure you we are continuing to offer assistance to passengers that need it at this time.

    Your first point of contact for requesting assistance should always be your airline, so please contact them directly and they will be happy to help you. If you would like further reassurance or advice, you can always contact Heathrow’s customer service team by ringing 0844 335 1801 and pressing option 4, or emailing passengersupport@heathrow.com.

    Arriving from a country with confirmed cases

    The majority of countries worldwide now have confirmed cases of the coronavirus, so we understand that our passengers may be nervous when travelling. Any passenger arriving from an affected country should follow the advice of the UK Government.

    If you are at the airport and experiencing the symptoms of a cough, fever or shortness of breath please make yourself known to the nearest colleague who will be able to support you.

    If you are not at the airport, please follow NHS advice.

    Mandatory testing requirements

    All international arrivals, including UK nationals, are required to present a negative COVID-19 test taken no earlier than 3 days before departing for England, this applies to passengers transiting the UK, as well as those whose final destination is the UK.  For more information, please visit the Government website.

    Passenger locator Form

    It is a legal requirement for all passengers to complete a passenger locator form providing their journey and contact details before entering the UK. Passengers are advised to complete the online form up to 48 hours before their essential travel.  

    Self-isolation

    Passengers must quarantine for 10 days on arrival to the UK.  This can be shortened to 5 days if you pay for a private test through the Test to release scheme.

    If you are due to transfer/connect through Heathrow, please ensure to read the section titled “Transfer passengers”, which contains important information on how the 10-day isolation period affects connecting passengers.

    Can I still come into the terminal if I am not flying?

    As an airport that has facilitated reunions and connections for the past 74 years, we understand the importance of greeting and saying goodbye to friends, family and loved ones in terminals.

    However, we ask at this time that you only enter the terminal if absolutely necessary. Reasons that you may still need to come into the terminal for are, for example, if you are helping somebody into the terminal who requires assistance before they have been greeted by the care team.

    We know that this is a difficult time and sincerely appreciate your help in adhering to government advice and making the airport as safe as possible.

    Transfer passengers

    From 18 January 2021, all international arrivals, will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test taken no earlier than 3 days before departing for England, this applies to passengers transiting the UK.

    If you have a boarding pass issued for your onward journey, you will be able to stay airside during your connection. This means that when you arrive into Heathrow, you will not need to pass through immigration or customs and can follow the purple signs for connections and make your way to the departing gate once it opens.

    You will be required to pass through Immigration and customs, collect your luggage and then check back in for your onward flight.

    Please ensure you have the correct passport or visa to enter the UK and that you have filled out the contact form on the UK Government website before you arrive.

    You will be asked to self isolate for the time you are in the UK in accordance with local restrictions.  Passengers will be able to leave their self-isolation address to return directly to Heathrow to take their connecting flight. 

    Please ensure you have the correct passport or visa to enter the UK and that you have filled out the contact form on the UK Government website before you arrive.

    Parking, Meet and Assist, Porters and Lounge bookings

    Due to the decrease in passenger demand, we are now operating a reduced car parking service. We will contact existing bookings that have been affected by the changes, to provide advice and alternatives. Find out more information on current car parking availability.

    If you are in any doubt about your booking, you are also more than welcome to contact us directly by telephone on 0344 335 1000, or by emailing us at passengersupport@heathrow.com. Full refunds will be offered to those passengers whose bookings have been cancelled as a result of the closures.

    I can't get back to Heathrow for my original parking end time.  Will I be charged for my overstay?

    We understand that you may have to change your travel plans and would still like to use the Heathrow service you had previously booked. We would like to reassure you that amendments to your booking can be made up to 24 hours prior to your original booking time. Please contact customer services on 0344 335 1000 and we’ll be happy to discuss making changes to your booking.

    In line with current Government restrictions, our lounges remain closed with the exception of:

    • Club Aspire in Terminal 5
    • Plaza Premium in Terminal 2

    Access to these lounges can be booked online.

    Please be advised that if your lounge access is provided by your airline or another provider, you will need to contact them directly for reassurance.

    Heathrow's official Meet & Assist service is available to book for Terminal 2 and Terminal  5. Opening hours are 05:00-22:30

    We have temporarily suspended our Porter service due to a decrease and are also not taking any new bookings at this time. 

    Unfortunately, due to a decrease in passenger demand, Fast Track security is now closed, and are not taking any new bookings. Passengers with existing bookings that will be affected the closure have been proactively contacted and offered a full refund.

    Please be advised that the above advice is only applicable for our Fast Track security as sold by Heathrow. If your fast track security access is provided by your airline, you will need to contact them directly for reassurance. 

    We understand that you may have to change your travel plans, including Heathrow services you had previously booked. We would like to reassure you that amendments to your booking can be made up to 24 hours prior to your original booking time. Please contact customer services on 0344 335 1000 and we’ll be happy to discuss making changes to your booking.

    Please remember that you must contact your airline directly to discuss changes to your flight.

    We can only help you with the service you have booked as outlined in the title of this FAQ section.

    General information

    We understand that this may be a stressful time. If you are travelling soon and worried about how coronavirus might affect your plans, please check the latest advice.

    Good hand and personal hygiene practices are seen as the most effective response to the virus with the Government advising that people should wash their hands often and for at least 20 seconds with soap, using warm water if available. Please also remember that we require all passengers to wear a face covering at all times whilst within our terminal buildings. If you don’t have your own, we will be happy to provide you with one on departure (at check-in) or on arrival (at immigration).

    Please note that the FCDO have also announced that they advise against all but essential travel for all British nationals.  If you are in any doubt about whether or not to take your flight, we suggest that you speak to your travel insurance provider and also contact your airline directly.

    If you are anxious or confused about your journey to or from Heathrow, we want to reassure you that speaking to the travel provider directly is your best course of action, and we would recommend doing this the day before you travel, to ensure that you are as prepared as possible for your journey. We have put together this guide which shows all of our travel providers, and where possible, their journey planners, timetables and contact details

    Our Transport and Directions page will also help you plan your journey in advance

    Please note that because Terminal 4 passenger operations are currently suspended due to the temporary airline relocations into Terminals 2 and 5, rail operations to Terminal 4 stations have also been temporarily suspended. Passenger operations from Terminal 3 have also temporarily come to an end, however, the Terminals 2 and 3 stations remain open as passengers and colleagues are still using these stations to travel to Terminal 2.  Please check which terminal your flight is operating from before travelling to Heathrow.