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All Heathrow Passport Desks Manned for London Olympics, May Says

April 24 (Bloomberg) -- Extra immigration staff will be deployed at London’s Heathrow airport to prevent delays to athletes and sports fans arriving for the Olympic Games, U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May said.

“We will be at peak times manning all of the desks” at passport control, May told the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee in London today. “Those plans are in place.”

May told lawmakers that contingency plans had also been drawn up to bring in extra staff if necessary to help with immigration checks. She said the U.K. Border Force had been able to cope with extra numbers during the Easter break. In any case, May said, not everyone would be arriving in London for the games on the same day. The event runs from July 27 to Aug. 12.

London’s Evening Standard newspaper reported that lengthy lines built up yesterday at passport control at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, holding up teams returning from the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix as well as Canadian singer Justin Bieber. The Immigration Services Union, which represents border officials, called for more than 300 frontier staff to be recruited, the newspaper said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eddie Buckle in London at ebuckle@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net.

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