An important warning has been flagged up to anyone planning a European holiday next year – with tougher and longer border checks.
Good Morning Britain’s resident travel expert Simon Calder has warned that UK holidaymakers could be hit with much tougher – and longer – border checks in 2023.
Writing in the Independent, he said some travellers looking to journey to EU countries next summer could be hit with delays – of up to four times longer.
Calder said: “Frontier checks for British travellers to Europe next summer could take four times longer than now.
“The reason is the UK asked to be treated as a “third country” after Brexit so subject to the fingerprinting and face biometric checks of the new Entry Exit System.”
The tougher border checks are part of the Entry Exit System and will come into effect in May.
“From next summer, each time a third-country national crosses an EU external border, fingerprints and a facial biometric must be checked,” he said.
The UK helped develop the system when it was part of the European Union and asked to be subjected to the additional checks as part of the Brexit withdrawal treaty.
The Independent analysed the findings from a number of European governments after they modelled the effects of EES, who confirmed the tougher checks could cause longer waits for UK travellers.
The EES will form a part of the new ETIAS scheme, which is an online “eurovisa” that will cost £6 and require pre-registration.
The European Union claims Etias will be a “simple, fast and visitor-friendly system that will save travellers time and hassle”.
A UK government spokesperson said: “The European Union is introducing the Entry and Exit System to help to protect and strengthen the security of their external border by registering the entry, exit and any refused entries of third-country citizens crossing into Europe.
“It is the responsibility of the EU Member States to implement these checks. We are working closely with port authorities, operators and the French government to make sure passengers are prepared and do not experience unnecessary delays at the border, due to new entry and exit system checks being introduced next year.”