Passport: Devastation as passport backlog may see Britons waiting even longer for holidays

With flight itineraries resuming and hotels reopening their doors many Britons are gearing up to salvage what is left of summer with a holiday. However, those awaiting a passport renewal could face fresh devastation as the UK Passport Office tries to deal with a backlog.

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Although the Foreign and Commonwealth Office continues to advise against all nonessential travel, an updated message stating this advice is “under constant review” has sparked hopes that it may be lifted soon.

What’s more, many of the UK’s major airlines have announced their return to the skies, with international holidays preparing for a July restart date.

Yet, for Britons in need of a new travel document, they could face an even longer wait.

The Passport Office is currently taking a little bit longer than normal to process new passports.

The Passport Office website states: “It is taking longer than the usual 3 to 6 weeks to process applications because of coronavirus.

“Do not apply unless you need a passport urgently for compassionate reasons, for example, if a family member has died, or for government business.”

Though they do not specify an estimated wait time, one would-be holidaymaker took to Twitter reporting that she had been waiting since April for an update on her new passport.

She tweeted: “I have been waiting since April 29th for a renewal passport. This is not acceptable and could cost me my job.”

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The Passport Office responded by saying it would “look into” the matter.

A Home Office spokesperson told The Telegraph: “Her Majesty’s Passport Office continues to process standard passport applications, but they are taking longer than usual as a result of changed working practices designed to keep both staff and customers safe.

“We would encourage those who can to apply at a later date and, as is always the case, we strongly advise not to book travel without a valid passport.”

For Britons who have received new passports in recent weeks, there has been some “disappointment”.

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Many citizens were anticipating a brand new blue passport following an amendment to the typically Maroon passports after the UK’s departure from the EU.

However, upon arrival, many noted the passport was not quite as they first expected.

“New passport arrived this morning, had almost forgotten about the completely pointless change in colour,” tweeted one Briton.

“By the way, it is definitely black and not even remotely blue.”

Another commented on the “downgrade in quality”.

They tweeted: “Flicking through it’s obvious that the blue passport is a major downgrade quality & design-wise.”

The new blue passports are said to be being slowly rolled out.

Some people who apply for a new passport this year may still receive a Maroon passport.

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