BRUTISH ACTNew Border Control Measures for British Travelers Visiting the EU, Including Greece

Major changes are on the horizon for British travelers planning to visit the European Union and Schengen countries. A recent survey highlighted that nearly two-thirds of respondents were unaware of the upcoming introduction of biometric data collection, including fingerprints and facial scans, when crossing borders.

The European Union’s new Entry/Exit System (EES) will be implemented alongside the requirement for UK citizens to obtain a visa waiver through the European Travel Information and Authorisation Scheme (ETIAS). These measures aim to enhance border security and streamline entry processes but have raised concerns among travelers.

The EES is an automated system designed to register non-EU travelers’ personal details, biometric data, and entry and exit records each time they cross the border. This information will be stored for up to three years. According to the EU, the system is intended to expedite border control procedures and improve security by accurately tracking the movement of travelers.

However, the survey revealed that 46% of British travelers felt deterred by the data collection and storage aspects of the EES. One respondent expressed concern, stating, “The idea of having my biometric data stored for years makes me uneasy. It feels like an invasion of privacy.”

In addition to the EES, the ETIAS visa waiver will become a requirement for UK citizens visiting the Schengen area. The ETIAS, which is expected to cost €7 (£6), will function similarly to the US ESTA system, requiring travelers to apply online before their trip. This measure is anticipated to enhance security checks and streamline the entry process for tourists and business travelers.

The EES will be applicable in 25 EU countries including Greece, as well as non-EU countries such as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. It will be enforced at various border crossings, ports, and transportation hubs including the Port of Dover, Eurostar, and Eurotunnel terminals.

The exact start dates for the EES and ETIAS have experienced delays. The EES is now scheduled to commence in October 2024, while the ETIAS is expected to launch in mid-2025. Travelers are advised to stay updated on these developments to ensure their journeys to Europe remain smooth and compliant with new regulations.

Countries where the EES will be implemented include:

  1. Austria
  2. Belgium
  3. Bulgaria
  4. Croatia
  5. Czech Republic
  6. Denmark
  7. Estonia
  8. Finland
  9. France
  10. Germany
  11. Greece
  12. Hungary
  13. Iceland (Non-EU European country)
  14. Italy
  15. Latvia
  16. Liechtenstein (Non-EU European country)
  17. Lithuania
  18. Luxembourg
  19. Malta
  20. Netherlands
  21. Norway (Non-EU European country)
  22. Poland
  23. Portugal
  24. Romania
  25. Slovakia
  26. Slovenia
  27. Spain
  28. Sweden
  29. Switzerland (Non-EU European country)

Travel industry experts emphasize the importance of awareness and preparation for these changes. A spokesperson from a major travel agency commented, “It’s crucial for travelers to understand the new requirements and plan accordingly. While the EES and ETIAS are designed to enhance security, they also add an additional step in the travel planning process.”

Checkout the latest updates from Greece and around the world on our website and stay connected with us via our social media pages for the freshest gists on the planet. You may also reach out to us to share updates or your own stories, photos, and videos. Send all updates and stories to