Passengers arriving at Manchester Airport have been delayed due to a “national outage of e-gates”.

Heathrow and Edinburgh airports have also reported problems with e-gates following an IT failure which has disrupted self-service passport gates.

The gates allow travellers with biometric passports to pass through border control without a manual inspection.

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Manchester Airport said the issue has now been resolved.

Border Force apologised for the delays and said security was not affected.

A spokesman said: “Manchester Airport was impacted this afternoon for a short period time due to an e-gates outage, which has now been resolved.

“We have worked with UK Border Force (UKBF), which manages the immigration process, throughout to ensure passengers were informed and processed as quickly as possible.

“We will continue to support UKBF as they clear the backlog of passengers and appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding.”

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Documentary maker Louis Theroux was among those forced to wait in long queues at Heathrow.

He wrote on Twitter: “Human logjam at Heathrow – apparently all the e gates at all the airports are down? That’s what the man just said.”

Heathrow Airport tweeted: “We’re aware of a systems failure impacting the e-gates, which are staffed and operated by Border Force.

“This issue is impacting a number of ports of entry and is not an isolated issue at Heathrow. “Our teams are working with Border Force to find a solution as quickly as possible.”

Edinburgh Airport said: “The UK Border Force (UKBF) IT issue is nationwide and UKBF teams are working to resolve this.

“All available UKBF staff are in the arrivals hall to carry out necessary checks and allow passengers to pass through the border as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience.”

The Home Office said security at the border was not affected.

A spokesperson said: “This afternoon a technical issue affected eGates at a number of ports. The issue was quickly identified and has now been resolved.

"We have been working hard to minimise disruption, and apologise to all passengers for the inconvenience caused.”