TRAVELLING TO FRANCE IS ABOUT TO GET EVEN MORE EXPENSIVE

TRAVELLING TO FRANCE IS ABOUT TO GET EVEN MORE EXPENSIVE

Spain, France, Portugal, Italy and Greece are among 30 countries where UK tourists will soon have to pay to enter.

The scheme is set to come into effect in 2023 and UK passport holders will have to apply and pay for a visa waiver to visit. It is among a number of travel changes implemented since the UK left the EU following Brexit.

The visa waiver security check will mean holidaymakers will have to apply to enter the Schengen zone - which includes most EU nations in mainland Europe - and pay a fee before travelling. The fee will be paid for a new electronic travel permit that has been introduced to enhance the security and enforce the borders of the Schengen zone and is expected to be valid for three years, allowing unlimited entries into the EU.

The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) security check was first proposed in 2016, when the UK was yet to vote to leave the EU, before being confirmed in 2018. The UK cut ties with the EU on December 31, 2022, after an 11-month transitional period.

The visa waiver will apply to travellers aged between 18 and 70. It is expected to cost around £6.

While UK passport holders will not need a visa to visit EU Schengen zone countries as tourists, they can be turned away at the border if their ETIAS application is not approved, once the scheme is implemented, reported Chronicle Live. In effect, it is similar to the ESTA visa waiver scheme UK residents use to travel to the USA.

"ETIAS will be a largely automated IT system created to identify security, irregular migration or high epidemic risks posed by visa-exempt visitors travelling to the Schengen States, whilst at the same time facilitate crossing borders for the vast majority of travellers who do not pose such risks. Non-EU nationals who do not need a visa to travel to the Schengen area will have to apply for a travel authorisation through the ETIAS system prior to their trip", the EU's ETIAS website states.

UK passport holders will not require an ETIAS to visit the Republic of Ireland. The EU says the form should take around 10 minutes to fill in. Applicants will need a passport or equivalent document to apply.

According to the website: "After filling in an online application form, the system will conduct checks against EU information systems for borders and security and, in the vast majority of cases, issue a travel authorisation within minutes. The ETIAS travel authorisation will be a mandatory pre-condition for entry to the Schengen area. It will be checked together with the travel documents by the border guards when crossing the EU border."

Countries UK passport holders will need an ETIAS visa waiver for

British tourists will require an ETIAS visa waiver to visit every country in the Schengen area, including four non-EU countries and four countries applying to join the Schengen area, etiasvisa.com says.

They are:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Romania
  • Iceland
  • Switzerland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Norway

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