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Brits issued travel warning over two major changes for holidaymakers travelling to Europe

Brits issued travel warning over two major changes for holidaymakers travelling to Europe

The first is due to be introduced this year

Brits have been issued a travel warning over two major changes for holidaymakers travelling to Europe, with the government saying they will affect people visiting ‘most EU countries’.

The European Union is set to introduce two new schemes – the first of which is due to come into effect this year.

While they are separate, the government said last month that they are ‘interconnected’, explaining: “The EU is planning to introduce new requirements for non-EU nationals to provide fingerprints and obtain a travel authorisation to enter the EU.”

EU Entry/Exit System (EES)

First up is the EES, an automated system for registering travellers from the UK and other non-EU countries each time they cross an EU external border.

This is something that’s been severely delayed, having previously been scheduled for 2022, then May 2023 and then the end of 2023.

It’s now finally due to be introduced in ‘late 2024’, with travellers required to scan their passports at an automated self-service kiosk as they cross the border – a system replacing the current manual stamping.

There are two new changes to remember before you jet off if you're holidaying later this year or in 2025.
Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

“The system will register the person’s name, type of the travel document, biometric data (ie fingerprints and captured facial images) and the date and place of entry and exit,” the government said, adding that the data will be erased from the system three years after the last trip to a country using the EES system (y'know, data protection and all that).

European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS)

The second change due to come in is the ETIA system, which is a ‘travel authorisation to enter the EU for citizens of non-EU countries that do not require a visa to enter the EU’.

This is expected to become operational from ‘mid-2025’, having also faced a number of delays, and is similar to the ESTA system used for travel to the USA, where visitors pay a one-off fee of $21 for authorisation lasting two years.

ETIAS authorisation will last for three years or until your passport expires, after which it will need to be renewed for any further trips.

It’ll set you back €7 if you’re aged 18 to 70, but will be free for under 18s and over-70s.

The ETIAS authorisation is due to come into place next year.
Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

To get the authorisation, you’ll have to apply online or via a mobile app, with applicants checked against EU information systems for borders and security.

It should be issued ‘within minutes’ in most cases, but any applicants who require further checks may face a delay of up to 30 days, so make sure you’re allowing enough time before you jet off.

In fact, the European Union has even suggested sorting your ETIAS permission before buying plane tickets or booking hotels.

“ETIAS will apply to British and other non-EU/non Schengen country citizens travelling to all EU Member States, with the exception of Ireland,” the government said.

“It will also apply for travel to the four non-EU Schengen countries.”

The UK government is also introducing a similar system for non-UK travellers coming to the UK, known as the Electronic Travel Authorisation, which is set to be introduced ‘by the end of 2024’.

Featured Image Credit: Isabel Pavia/Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

Topics: Travel