Smoother travel for families through the UK border this summer

From Monday 24 July, children aged 10 or over will be able to enter the UK using eGates across 15 air and rail ports, helping families travel more easily.

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 eGates 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.

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 eGates capacity, the government is 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.

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