When news broke last week about how EU travel might change after Brexit there was a rumble of concern, but political upheaval need not impact your annual break. Especially when the proposed changes will help to keep you and your family safe.
Under newly unveiled plans from Brussels, British travellers – as well as those from 60 other countries, including the US – will have to pay a nominal travel tax and fill in a form before travelling to an EU country.
Previously, Britons were able to enjoy freedom of movement within the passport-free area known as the Schengen Zone. The new scheme is one of the first indicators that the UK will not enjoy the travel privileges it had in the past in light of Brexit.
Known as the Etias system, the new rules require people from countries outside of the EU to pay a 5 euro (£4.29*) fee and complete an online form. Travellers will then be checked in an automated system that will examine their details against visa, criminal and stolen document databases.
The European Commission states that the form should only take around 10 minutes to complete and the permit will be valid for five years and multiple trips. While most travellers will receive immediate approval, some requests could take up to 72 hours to come through.
According to the Telegraph, further plans that are also being discussed include an entry and exit scheme that would check all travellers, including European citizens, when entering or leaving the Schengen area.
The system is hoped to prevent terrorists from entering the Schengen open-borders area. According to Sir Julian King, the EU’s Security Commissioner: "Terrorists and criminals don't care much for national borders. The only way to defeat them is by working together effectively.
"Etias will help do that, by spotting problem individuals and stopping them from coming, we'll enhance Europe's internal security."
So while at first the plans may seem concerning, a 5 euro fee and a 10-minute form seem a small price to pay for the enhanced security of your loved ones. Just don’t forget your travel insurance too! Compare Travel insurance now with Medical Travel Compared with over 40 specialist provider to choose from, your sure to bag a deal!
*Exchange rate correct at the time of publication 10:02, 22nd November 2016.