UK airports are now allowing more children to go through e-gates after only those aged 12 and over were allowed to use the feature.

E-gates are now commonly used by airports to allow passengers to go through immigration barriers on a self-service basis.

This comes as summer flying numbers are expected to return to 2019 levels with some airports expected to exceed pre-pandemic figures.

The change to e-gates will see children aged 10 and 11 allowed to use the service for the first time on Monday (July 24).

This follows successful trials at Gatwick, Stansted and Heathrow, according to the Government.

Currently, several other airports across the UK such as Glasgow, Manchester and Cardiff have e-gates.

It is expected that over 400,000 10 and 11-year-olds will use e-gates this year alone just as the first passports with the name of King Charles III begin being distributed to travellers.

Immigration minister says rollout of e-gates to those aged 10 and over will make travel 'easier'

Swindon Advertiser: Passengers faced delays in May when airport e-gates stopped working for more than a day in the UK (PA)Passengers faced delays in May when airport e-gates stopped working for more than a day in the UK (PA) (Image: PA)

Robert Jenrick, Immigration Minister, said the expanded rollout would make travelling "easier" for passengers, adding that this "strengthens the security of the UK border."

He also said: "The UK processes more passengers through e-gates than any other country - and today's announcement ensures we remain at the forefront of technology."

Despite this, e-gates have run into difficulties before such as when gates across much of Scotland and England stopped working at the end of May.

The disruption, which was caused by an IT issue, lasted for more than a day, seeing thousands of passengers waiting in long queues.