The latest on UK airports: What drivers need to know
As we head into summer, some people are starting to make travel plans again following Covid restrictions lifting in England and the vaccine rollout. Yet government advice on foreign travel and holidays is changing all the time, making it hard for drivers to know what to expect on airport pick-ups and drop-offs.
To help keep you up-to-date, we’ve put together a summary of the latest travel announcements and information for drivers heading to some of the UK’s main airports.
This information was updated on 19 July 2021. Before you visit an airport, it’s worth checking the latest government guidance and advice from the airport(s) you’re travelling to.
At a glance
- From 19 July 2021, people who have had two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine can travel to nearly all amber list countries without having to isolate when they come back to the UK.
- Different rules apply to those coming from France. Those returning to England, Scotland and Wales still need to quarantine because of concerns around the Beta variant of the virus.
- At the last government review, the Balearic Islands (including Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca) moved to the amber list, as did the British Virgin Islands.
- Bulgaria, Hong Kong, Croatia, Taiwan, Malta and Madeira are currently on the green list, which require fewer Covid-19 tests for travellers.
- Red list countries are those which the UK government says pose the highest Covid risk. Coming back from those countries means isolating for 10 days in a government-approved hotel. Countries on the red list at the moment include India, Pakistan, Turkey, Brazil and South Africa.
What are the travel rules where I work?
In England, the government no longer advises against travelling to amber list countries.
Scotland and Wales continue to advise against non-essential overseas travel.
Airport information for drivers
Heathrow has opened Terminal 4 for red list passengers arriving on direct flights. It expects red list flight routes to continue as countries vaccinate their populations at different rates.
All departing flights are operating from Terminal 2 or Terminal 5.
To pick up riders from Heathrow, Uber drivers need to drive into the dedicated waiting area at the Authorised Vehicle Area (AVA), postcode: TW6 2EQ. From there you’re placed in a queue, which is first-come, first-served. Once you get a trip confirmation, follow the in-app directions to the Short Stay Car Park and the designated pick-up row.
The AVA is open 5am – 12am. Drivers are asked not to enter before 4.45am or after 11.45pm.
For drop-offs, drop riders at their requested terminal on the departures level.
At Gatwick, a similar pick-up system applies. Drive to the dedicated waiting area on Beehive Ring Road, postcode: RH6 OPB.
As with Heathrow, you are placed in a queue from there, and once you receive a trip request are directed to the Short Stay Car Park.
For North Terminal riders, the drop-off zone is on the lower level between the Sofitel and the multi-storey car park. For the South Terminal, drop-off is also on the lower level.
A minimum £5 charge now applies to use the designated drop-off zone in both the North and South Terminals. The fee will be added to the trip fare automatically, and your vehicle’s number plate will be read by the airport’s camera system with no ticket issued at the barrier.
Stansted used to offer dedicated waiting areas at the Birchanger Green service station, postcode: CM23 5QZ and the Mid-Stay parking area (CM24 1PZ), though the Mid-Stay area has been closed over recent months.
Uber is still recommending its drivers wait in the Birchanger waiting area.
You can drop riders off at the Express Set Down Area.
At Edinburgh airport private hire drivers can access a discount on airport pick-up fees by applying for a decrement card. You must agree to only pick up passengers at the Airport Taxi Rank and dedicated Pick-Up Zones.
You can wait at the East Terminus facility across the plaza from the main terminal.
You can meet pre-booked passengers in the Pick-Up Zone on the ground floor of the multi-storey car park. Drop-offs can either be made opposite the terminal in the drop-off zone or in the free drop-off zone in the long stay car park.
As a private hire driver, INSHUR can provide the right insurance cover to suit your needs. If you’re not ready to return to airportrips just yet, then delivery work might be a good option. You can find out more about the different ways to earn from driving here, where you can also check out the options and the right cover for you.