[IMG=20685-6465]On August 11th a BANKO correspondent received official comments on visa delays from representatives of the British Embassy in Moscow. They confirmed the fact of the delays however pointed out the situation was not crisis. Thus, Ian Underhill, Entry Clearance Manager, said: ‘during the previous two weeks, due to staff shortages and a high than normal level of applications, the British Embassy Visa Section were unable despite our best efforts to continue to offer our normal levels of customer service. This led to a slight delay in the processing of a small number of individuals' applications and a strict processing of group applications in a 'date of intended travel' order’ The situation is now resolved and we have returned to our normal levels of service’.
Furthermore, the Consul of the British Embassy, John Makin, added that even during the vacation period of the Visa Section staff, ‘maximum visa issuing period did not exceed ten days’. Meanwhile, Tatiana Khoreshok, the Head of VisitBritain, emphasized: ‘tour operators themselves should be more organized, especially in high season. Those who applied for visas in time did not have problems at all’.
However, at the moment when visa situation has stabilized, travel market players face different type of difficulties on the destination. We remind you that at the moment passengers are not allowed to take any hand luggage on to any flights in the UK only the barest essentials - including passports and wallets - will be allowed to be carried on board in transparent plastic bags.
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