British tourists set to be slapped with £6 visas to enter Europe from the end of next year, EU announces
BRITS will be slapped with a new £6 visa to enter Europe from the end of next year, the EU announced today.
Brussels said it’s “on track” to introduce the border charge for visitors from the UK from the start of 2023.Brits will have to pay £6 to enter Europe from the end of next year[/caption]
The news will come as another blow to the travel industry which has been brought to it knees by the pandemic.
Sun-seekers have already been put off heading to the continent by extra paperwork and testing costs linked to Covid.
Today the EU announced it’s long-planned European Travel Information and Authorisation System is set to come into force.
Under the scheme Brits will have to apply for a travel pass online before boarding the plane to the continent.
Visitors will be asked for information about their identity, passport, education, job, recent travel, and criminal convictions.
Only adults will have to apply for the €7 (£6) visas, with under-18s exempt. They will be valid for three years and can be used for multiple trips.
The EU Commission says the streamlined application form will only take “a few minutes” to complete.
Eurocrats predict the system will grant “automatic approval” to holidaymakers in over 95% of cases.
But anybody who arrives without an authorisation is likely to be deported back to the UK.
Travel firms will have to “systematically check” all passengers before boarding and face paying fines and repatriation costs for visa-less ones.
Brits won’t need an ETIAS to visit Ireland as it isn’t in the Schengen zone, but it will be required for tourist hotspots like France, Italy, and Spain.
The charge will also apply to other visitors from around the world.
It has been modelled on the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) used by the US.
Brussels has unveiled plans for a new “state of the art” border control system to combat terrorism and illegal migration.
It was meant to go live next January, but delays in the rollout have pushed the launch back to the end of 2022.
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The Commission said: “The system will cross-check travellers against EU information systems for internal security, borders and migration before their trip, helping to identify ahead of time people who may pose a risk to security or health, as well as compliance with migration rules.
“The set-up of ETIAS forms part of the EU’s ongoing work to put in place a state-of-the-art external border management system and making sure that information systems work together in an intelligent and targeted way.”
Priti Patel has announced plans to introduce a similar digital travel pass for non-Brits entering the UK.
No details have yet been released about the cost of such visas or when the scheme will be introduced.
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