Britain says border e-gates are back in use after power outages caused delays

LONDON, May 27 (Reuters) – Britain’s automated border control gates have returned to normal operations, the Home Office said on Saturday, after a nationwide system problem caused major delays.

Pictures posted on social media earlier showed long queues of hundreds of people at London̵[ads1]7;s Heathrow and Gatwick airports, with frustrated passengers complaining of having to queue for hours.

“Following a technical border system failure which affected e-gate arrivals into the UK, we can confirm that all e-gates are now operating as normal,” the UK Home Office said in a Twitter post.

A sign is seen at the arrivals passport control area of ‚Äč‚ÄčTerminal 5, at Heathrow Airport, London, Britain, March 23, 2023. REUTERS/Toby Melville

“We thank the affected travelers for their patience and our staff for their work in resolving the issue.”

While many foreign visitors to the UK need to see a border control officer on landing, others, including UK, EU and US citizens, can use the automated gates known as e-gates to scan their passports and enter the country.

The problem with the automated gates, which came during a busy period for UK travel with a spring break on Monday and half term for schools next week, meant all passengers had to be processed at manual checkpoints.

British airlines and airports have faced other disruptions in the past year, including from separate strikes involving airport staff and Border Force workers, and from canceled flights caused by staff shortages last summer.

Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar and Kanjyik Ghosh; Editing by Clelia Oziel and Jan Harvey

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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