15% of Brits less likely to travel to EU countries with new Entry/Exit System

  • Schengen Visa Info
  • 25-06-2024
  • Travel
  • Photo Credit: Freepik
15% of Brits less likely to travel to EU countries with new Entry/Exit System

A recent survey conducted by the UK government indicates that one in seven Brits are reconsidering their travel plans to EU countries, including Spain and the Canary Islands, due to the forthcoming Entry/Exit System (EES).

The EES, set to launch on October 6th, will replace manual passport stamping with an automated registration process, which includes taking photos, fingerprints, and passport details.

The Department for Transport surveyed 1,584 UK residents aged 16 and over regarding the EES. The survey revealed that 15% of respondents may alter their travel plans to the EU due to the new system, as reported by Schengen.News.

A primary concern highlighted by the survey is the potential for long queues as passengers register in the new system. The European Scrutiny Committee of the UK has warned of possible delays at all ports and airports, with up to 14 hours wait at Dover, and has urged the government to reconsider the start date of the EES.

Implementation of the EES

The EES aims to streamline border control processes by automating the entry and exit tracking of non-EU travellers, including UK passport holders. Once operational, travellers will need to undergo a one-time registration, which will involve providing biometric data and passport information. This data will be stored for three years and will be used to monitor movements in and out of the Schengen Area.

Responses from Travel Agents

Despite the concerns, travel agents, tour operators, and airlines are advising Brits not to be deterred from traveling to the EU. Julia Lo Bue-Said, chief executive of Advantage Travel Partnership, emphasised that while initial registration may cause delays, the automated system will eventually expedite processing times and enhance the overall travel experience.

She recommended that people book their trips through local travel agents to ensure compliance with the new requirements and to receive assistance with the registration process.

Government and Industry Actions

In response to potential disruptions, the European Scrutiny Committee has called on the UK government to allocate additional funds for awareness campaigns to inform travellers about the new system. The aim is to minimise inconvenience and ensure smooth transitions at border crossings once the EES is implemented, and provide resources to assist travellers with the transition to the new Entry/Exit System.