Passengers arriving at major airports around London are facing delays following problems at electronic passport gates at the start of the bank holiday weekend.
The problems began on Friday night at the gates of airports including Heathrow, Stansted, Gatwick and Luton. Delays of up to three hours have been reported.
Pictures of passengers posted on social media showed overcrowded passport control queues, with some reports of movement.
In a tweetA spokesman for Heathrow Airport said: “We are aware of a nationwide issue affecting eGates, which are operated by Border Force. The issue is affecting a number of ports of entry and is not Heathrow specific.
“Our teams are working closely with Border Force to help resolve the issue as quickly as possible and we have additional partners on hand to manage queues and provide passenger welfare. We apologize for.
Separate IT issues affected 20,000 British Airways passengers on Friday, causing More than 175 flights to be canceled, This affected services on Saturday morning.
The disruption was also affecting travel on ferries between Dover and Calais, as a problem with the IT system at French passport control was delaying arrivals in France. Passengers were told to allow two hours for border control and to check in at Britain’s main passenger port.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “We are aware of the issue with the nationwide border system affecting arrivals in the UK.
“We are working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible and are liaising with port operators and airlines to minimize disruption to passengers.”
It said the Border Force plans to deploy officers to help reduce delays and disruption.