Following the news that nightclub attendees will need to show vaccine passports from the end of September onwards, immigration control workers are preparing to adapt their skills at refusing entry to people they don’t like the look of.
With fewer flights arriving in the UK than is customary in August, there was a real prospect of airports having sufficient staff in Passport Control to deal with demand. However, the re-training and subsequent redeployment of the majority of the department to nightclubs around the country will see a return to the customary inadequate provision and the usual delays of up to three hours.
These staff will be re-trained to scrutinise a different set of passport documentation than they are used to and then use their powers of discretion to admit attractive groups of girls out on a hen night, attractive girls with barely anything on, girls that may be less attractive but could be up for it, and maybe some young, weedy lads that they could punch into the middle of next week if they felt like it. They will also be trained to feel like it.
Queue mismanagement is one aspect of the job that will be very familiar to former passport control personnel. Many are used to having one official dealing slowly and painstakingly with the longest queue while four others are on duty in the fast-track route having a brief sociable chat with people as they breeze past. This will simply be replicated for the public entrance compared to the VIP and Mates of Doormen entrance.
Acting as bouncers is likely to come naturally to some officials already experienced at turning away disappointed applicants based on questionable motives. Others may need reassurance that wearing trainers is sufficient grounds for saying, ‘I don’t care what you say or who you are, it’s up to me and I say you’re not coming in.’