Friday, June 14, 2024

Brits going to Europe face huge delays this year with these travellers worst hit

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HOLIDAYMAKERS could face big delays when heading abroad later this year, according to a committee from the House of Lords.

A new Entry/Exit system (EES) is due to be implemented by the European Union around October or November.

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The new system will replace stamping passports at EU bordersCredit: Getty
Some people are concerned that the new system will cause huge delays

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Some people are concerned that the new system will cause huge delaysCredit: PA

It will mean that Brits heading to EU and Schengen countries will no longer have their passports stamped.

Instead, the new system will check passengers’ names, biometric data and the place of entry and exit.

British travellers will have to provide fingerprints, as well as a facial biometrics before they arrive at the airport, ferry port or rail terminal from where they’re due to depart.

However, concerns have been raised about how long it will take for each and every passengers to be scanned in this way, with some authorities predicting an increase in processing times.

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Now, the Justice and Home Affairs Committee has voiced its concerns, warning that if the new system is implemented as scheduled this year, there will be “serious delays” for holidaymakers.

They are particularly concerned about the impact it will have on passengers heading to Europe via Eurostar, the ferry from Dover and the Eurotunnel at Folkestone.

The committee has called on the UK government to use “all diplomatic efforts” to delay the implementation of the new rules.

In a letter to the Minister for Legal Migration and the Border, Tom Pursglove, committee members argued that the EES shouldn’t be introduced, “until a smartphone application for pre-registration is ready”.

They wrote: “Our concerns primarily relate to the UK’s preparedness for their implementation.

“The infrastructure and logistical requirements of the EES at the French juxtaposed borders in Dover, at the Eurostar terminals at St. Pancras, and at Eurotunnel in Folkestone have presented the most difficult challenges for operators.

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“We have been impressed by their response.

“However, in the absence of a smartphone application to capture in advance information required for the EES (including facial image), we believe there is a significant chance of serious delays for passengers.”

The committee suggests that the delay wouldn’t need to be a long one, describing the smartphone app needed for passengers to submit the necessary data as “tantalisingly close”.

It’s not just the UK that has raised concerns about delays either, with others worried about how much time it will add to queues at EU borders.

The Slovenian government said it took “up to four times longer” to process passengers after conducting test runs.

Meanwhile, Austrian authorities warned that processing times would at least “double compared to the current situation”.

Croatia has also suggested that border checks would “certainly be significantly longer” once the EES was put in place.

Adding to the problems is the fact that the government isn’t doing all it can to make people aware of the new system, according to the Justice and Home Affairs committee.

In the same letter they urged the government to “work with the EU urgently” on a communications campaign this summer to raise awareness of the changes, suggesting that not enough is being done.

The committee stated that it was “alarmed by the lack of awareness of these changes on the part of UK Citizens who will be impacted by EES” as well as the government’s “current inadequate approach
to communicating details”.

The letter continued: “this should be a priority for the government, even if there remains some uncertainty over the launch dates”.

Meanwhile, these simple airport mistakes could get you held up at airports.

And this packing mistake could get your flight delayed.

The new system is due to be brought in some time this year

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The new system is due to be brought in some time this yearCredit: Getty

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