UK struggles with passport backlog

22/07/20

Over 400,000 passport applications has mounted in the UK due to disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

HM Passport Office is still operating at reduced staffing levels to allow for social distancing measures.

“It is therefore taking longer than usual to process passport applications,” said Conservative frontbencher Baroness Williams of Trafford, in response to a parliamentary written question about the issue.

Labour frontbencher Lord Kennedy of Southwark, Baroness Williams said the Government was scaling up its capacity to get through the backlog.

“As part of its contingency arrangements, HM Passport Office is rapidly increasing its capacity for processing passport applications, in line with public health guidance, which will help to ensure it continues to meet the travel needs of its customers.

“As at 7 July 2020, work in progress of approximately 126,000 passport applications is 31 per cent higher than at the same period last year. There are a further 284,000 applications which will need to be worked through in the coming weeks once initial documentation has been received and allocated, which is an increase of 172 per cent from last year,” the Home Office minister added.

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