Boost for British holidaymakers as the EU delays new border checks

Passport Control - Credit Polica Nacional

The EU has said that it is to delay the implementation of its new border checks in a boost for British holidaymakers.

According to the Telegraph on Saturday, January 21 the decision was taken over fears that the new checks would result in significant delays and long queues.

Originally planned for introduction in May, officials are now saying that the new target date is December from when photos and fingerprints will be taken from visitors to the bloc in the same way they do in the U.S.

Travel agents are said to be enjoying record bookings with holidaymakers keen to escape the cold, the misery and the illness that has blighted the UK in recent years. Travel disruptions in the UK are also believed top one of the reasons for people travelling abroad, as are the lower costs of holidaying in the Mediterranean and elsewhere.

ABTA, the travel agent body, has conducted research that suggests travel agents are expecting a bumper 2023. Nearly two-thirds of the population have said they are planning to travel with nearly one in three looking to book early.

IATA, the International Air Transport Association, has said the move is welcomed with a number of issues still to be ironed in the system being implemented.

A spokesperson for IATA said: “The EES system will be a game-changer for how the EU’s borders are managed.

“There are, however, a number of issues which must be resolved to ensure a smooth rollout and operation of the new system so that air passengers do not face disruptions.

“Postponing the implementation until after the busy 2023 summer period will give airlines, airports, the EU and national authorities the opportunity to resolve these issues and ensure the system is fully tested.

“We, therefore, urge all those involved to make the best use of the extra time now available to address the outstanding issues and ensure enough resources are deployed for its introduction.”

That view is shared by the Director-General of the European region of Airports Council International, Olivier Jankovec, who tweeted: ” A huge relief for Europe’s airports & airlines that reason & pragmatism have prevailed and that the start of operation of Schengen Entry Exit System is pushed back from the initial May 2023 deadline!”

Although Brits are looking further afield and considering more exotic holidays, the EU remains the number one destination with Spain, France, Italy and Greece being named among the top five most popular holiday destinations.

The introduction of the new border checks will be accompanied by the new visa system ETIAS which will require visitors to register prior to visiting any country in the EU.

The new border checks have been delayed once before amid fears of delays and it is now thought that it will be phased in. That is a boost for British holidaymakers who will be able to travel, for this year at least, using their passports as usual.


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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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