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Smoother travel for families through the UK border this summer

Source: Home Office and The Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP

This summer more families arriving into the UK will benefit from quicker entry to the UK using eGates, thanks to an expansion of the service to 10 and 11-year-olds.

Following successful trials across major ports including Gatwick, Stansted and Heathrow Airports this spring, from Monday 24 July 2023, more families returning and eligible visitors to the UK over the school summer holiday will now benefit from the use of eGates as a faster way to travel through the UK border, with a recent YouGov poll showing that 42% of the UK public plan to jet abroad over the summer.

With passenger, volumes expected to return to 2019 levels this summer – and some ports exceeding those volumes – Border Force expects to see over 34 million air arrivals coming through UK passport control over the coming months.

This new eGate change is expected to benefit thousands of families this summer, with over 400,000 children aged 10 and 11 years old projected to use eGates this year.

Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick said:

"From next week, families with children over the age of 10 will be able to benefit from quicker entry into the UK using eGates.This national rollout will make travelling easier for passengers and strengthens the security of the UK border. The UK processes more passengers through eGates than any other country – and today’s announcement ensures we remain at the forefront of technology."

The UK processes more passengers through eGates than any other country in the world and is recognised as a global leader in the use of automation at the border. Alongside increasing eGate capacity, we’re introducing an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme later this year and continuing to expand eVisas which will improve the customer experience at the border.

The national rollout of the expansion of eGates to this age group will come into effect across 15 air and rail ports that currently have 293 eGates.

Border Force continues to work closely with port operators and airlines to make sure all passengers can have a safe and hassle-free journey this summer.

Miguel Leitmann, Vision Box CEO said:

"Vision-Box is very proud to have supplied the technology that has enabled the UK Home Office and Border Force to lead the market, in what is widely regarded as the global reference for Automated Border Control. With more passengers using ePassport gates in the UK than in any country in the world, we have been delighted to see passenger usage rise year-on-year over the last 10 years. We have worked together with Border Force to facilitate secure and seamless entry into the UK, reducing queues for more than 70 million passengers per year."

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