One million visitors to UK use passport eGates since expansion

More than one million additional visitors to the UK have used the digital border process to enter the country, since eGates were expanded earlier this year.

UK and EU nationals have been able to use eGates to enter the UK since 2008. But since 20th May, nationals from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States have also been able to use them.

Figures released last week reveal that more than one million passengers from these seven countries have already used the system, which has been rolled out as part of a drive to make the UK as welcoming as possible to visitors whilst improving border security.

“I’m delighted more than one million additional passengers have used our eGates since the expansion,” said Home Secretary Sajid Javid. “Tourism and business are key drivers for our economy and we want passengers to enter the UK quickly and securely.

“Our world leading border system sends a clear message that we are open for business,” he added.

The eGates use facial recognition technology to compare a passenger’s face with the digital image recorded in their passport. They are monitored by Border Force officers and anyone rejected at the gates has their identity and passport checked manually.

eGates can be used by adults travelling using a biometric or ‘chipped’ passport. Children aged between 12 and 17 who are accompanied by an adult can also use them.

The UK allows more nationalities to use eGates than anywhere else in the world, and there are currently 264 eGates in operation at 15 air and rail terminals in the UK and juxtaposed controls.

EU nationals will still be able to use them after the UK leaves the EU.

Article published 8th July 2019