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  • Coronavirus update

    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

    At the airport

    There are a limited number of shops and restaurants 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.

    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.   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 have a testing facility in Terminal 2 that is ready to be used once given Government approval, and have hosted three rapid point of care COVID testing trials, findings from which have been shared with Government as they consider how testing could provide a safe alternative to blanket quarantine in certain circumstances.

    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.

    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

    Travel Corridors with certain countries mean you are no longer obliged to self-isolate when you arrive in the UK. To find out which countries are included, please check the Government website. If a country is not included on the list, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days.

    The exempted countries and territories will be kept under constant review, so that if the health risks increase self-isolation measures can be re-introduced to help stop the spread of the disease into England.

    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 14-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

    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.

    Testing

    Arriving at Heathrow between December 3-15 from a country on the travel corridor list
    No quarantine, or testing, is required for those passengers arriving from destinations on the UK Government Travel Corridor list. We recommend you check the full guidance on the Government website.

    Arriving at Heathrow from December 15 onwards from a country not on the travel corridors list
    From December 15, passengers arriving from a country not on the Travel Corridors List can shorten their mandatory 14-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 scheme once you have arrived in England, you will need to submit a new Passenger Locator Form.

    The Government has announced they will provide a list of testing providers closer to 15 December.

    Heathrow are working with partners at the airport to provide the ability to purchase a test at the airport. More information will be made available here in the coming days.

    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.

    At Heathrow, our partners Collinson & Swissport are currently able to offer rapid LAMP testing to fulfil requirements for certain destinations.

    Who can get a pre departure test
    During this initial phase only passengers travelling to Hong Kong are able to book a test at these facilities. Collinson & Swissport are currently looking into providing the service, and other tests, that are required for entry to other destinations.

    What is the test and how long does it take?
    The tests being offered by Collinson and Swissport during this trial at Heathrow is a rapid, LAMP type, test that returns a result in approximately 60 minutes. This type of test fulfills the pre-departure testing requirements for passengers travelling to Hong Kong.

    Where can I take the test and do I need to pre-book?
    Passengers travelling to Hong Kong only, can pre-book a test. Tests must be pre-booked online before travelling to the airport.

    How much does it cost?
    The test costs £80 and results are returned in approximately 80 minutes.

    Will I still need to self-isolate in Hong Kong if my test result is negative?
    If you return a negative test result, within 72 hours of travel, under current restrictions (20 October 2020) you will still be required to self-isolate in Hong Kong upon arrival. We advise all passengers to continue to check the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) website for up to date information on entry and self-isolation requirements for different countries.

    I've had a test before, do I still need to book one of these tests?
    Passengers travelling to Hong Kong are required to display proof of a negative result from a test completed within 72 hours of their departure. If you have already taken an eligible test, within this 72 hour timeframe before departure, and returned a negative result there is no requirement for you to book one of these tests.

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

    For arriving passengers – The UK Government is announced they will provide, closer to December 15 a full list of testing types and providers that can be used to reduce quarantine times.

    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.

    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.

    Aspire and Plaza Premium lounges will close until 2nd December. We have reached out to those passengers affected and offering full refunds. If you would like to speak to us to discuss this further, you can contact us by telephone on 0344 335 1000, or by emailing passengersupport@heathrow.com.

    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.

    Public transport

    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.

    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.