(CNN) – Pictures of long queues at London’s Heathrow airport surfaced on social media, prompting the airport’s press office to criticize Britain’s border guards on Saturday.
A Heathrow spokesperson said in a statement on Saturday: “We are deeply sorry that we were faced with unacceptable queues at the passenger home last night (Friday) due to a lack of border guards.”
“The border guards were aware of the additional request from the families and we were very disappointed that they did not provide sufficient evidence,” the statement said.
Border forces are under the control of the Interior Ministry, which responded on Saturday that the situation was unacceptable.
“During a pandemic, it is clear that waiting lists can be high as we ensure all passengers adhere to the health measures that have been put in place to protect the UK public. However, the longer waiting times we saw at Heathrow last night were unacceptable.
“Large numbers of families with children under the age of 12 are unable to use the electronic gates for returning travelers on the busiest weekends,” the airport said in a statement.
Electronic gates are automated self-service centers that use facial recognition technology, but people traveling with children under the age of 12 are not allowed to use them.
“The Border Force is rapidly reviewing its inventory and capabilities, and flexibly deploying our staff throughout the airport to improve wait times,” the Interior Office said.
Heathrow airport press office said it had introduced its staff to the tax department.
The office ramped up the matter with Border Force so that they could “deliver better on the weekend”.
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