FOI release

14660 UKBA’s policy regarding women wearing burkhas.

We have received a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for the following:  Returning from holiday recently at Birmingham Airport…

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We have received a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for the following: 

Returning from holiday recently at Birmingham Airport at the Border Agency Arrivals kiosks a Muslim family, including a woman with a full black burka, which everything covered except hands and feet, was in the queue.
 
Unable to see whether she (?) was invited to remove the head dress to establish full identification or was taken aside for the same.
Requests to know what instructions apply to BA staff in this situation.
 
Should full facial ID be established or not?

We released the following information on 30 April 2010.

 

It is a requirement that Border Officers always establish the nationality and identity of all passengers.  Officers are requested that passengers wearing veils or other face coverings ask to remove the covering in order that they may be identified as the rightful holder of their passport or travel document.

The UK Border Agency recognises that individual sensitivities must be taken into consideration therefore if a passenger is uncomfortable removing their face covering in public; they are escorted to a private room away from the border checkpoint and asked to uncover their face there.  Female passengers, who are uncomfortable removing a face covering in public and/or in the presence of males, are checked in private by a female officer.