Brits face ‘huge queues for holidays’ as EU gets set for fingerprint checks

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Brits face ‘huge queues for holidays’ as EU gets set for fingerprint checks
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Brits face ‘huge queues for holidays’ as the EU gets set for fingerprint checks at airports next year.

New plans are being put together by the European Commission which will affect non-EU citizens. The new plans will involve a new European Travel Information and Authorisation Scheme (ETIAS) along with an Entry/Exit System (EES). The schemes will affect non-EU citizens and are expected to come into force next year.

Under the new ETIAS scheme travellers who want to access the Schengen Area would need to pay 7 euros. Many favourite tourist destinations for Brits are in the Schengen Area including Spain, Greece, France and Portugal.

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As part of the EES system, travellers would be required to undergo comprehensive security checks. This would include fingerprints and facial images too.

The House of Lords Justice and Home Affairs Committee has raised concerns with Priti Patel over the schemes. They warned that the EES system would see travellers “required to undergo border checks that are likely to cause sustained delays and disruption”.

The committee added: “They could have serious consequences in the UK and for the rights and liberties of UK citizens, and the UK appears to be unprepared.


“Although the two systems are due to launch next year, several ethical, legal and logistical challenges remain unaddressed.”

The European Commission commented on the new systems and said: “After filling in an online application form, the system will conduct checks against EU information systems for borders and security and, in the vast majority of cases, issue a travel authorisation within minutes.

“In limited cases, where further checks on the traveller are needed, the issuing of the travel authorisation could take up to 30 days.


“The ETIAS travel authorisation will be a mandatory pre-condition for entry to the Schengen States.

“It will be checked together with the travel documents by the border guards when crossing the EU border.”


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Alex Glenn is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News. Formerly she worked in the NHS for 15 years until relocating to Spain in 2018. She loves the Spanish lifestyle, language and culture and spent several years learning Spanish before moving to Spain for a better quality of life. She has made her home in the mountains in Almeria, where she loves being part of a rural community that has a mix of both expats and Spanish residents. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, reading and exploring the area where she lives.

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