Holidaymakers warned of huge delays ahead of the major change to EU rules in October

Britons traveling to Europe have been warned of delays from October when new EU border controls are due to be introduced. The Entry/Exit System (EES) will come into effect from October 6 to improve border security.

It will see travelers from non-EU countries – such as Britain – have their fingerprints scanned and a photo taken to register them in a database when they first enter a member state, with the data kept for three years . There are concerns that this will cause queues at the Port of Dover, the Folkestone Eurotunnel terminal and St Pancras station, locations where French border checks are carried out before people embark on a cross-Channel journey, Wales Online reports.

Phil Smith, UK coach manager at industry body Confederation of Passenger Transport, said: “It is vital – for coach passengers and the sustainability of coach travel to Europe – that UK ports ensure systems are in place to ensure the new EU entry and the Exit system will not cause major delays when it comes into effect in October.

READ MORE: Manchester Airport worker shares advice for holidaymakers to avoid queues

“British coach companies traveling to Europe generate significant revenue for the UK economy and for the countries where people travel by coach – over £14 billion per year from around 23 million individual coach journeys. That’s why CPT has been working hard with port authorities at UK ports such as Dover or Folkstone to ensure fast and efficient passport checks take place so that a full coach of 50 passengers can complete this process without delay.

“It is also important that other traffic is not delayed as coaches share road space, so efforts to prevent congestion in and around our Channel ports will also be essential.”

Traffic in the port of Dover in KentTraffic in the port of Dover in Kent

There can be long waits at ports including the Port of Dover -Credit:PA

Julia Lo Bue-Said, CEO of Advantage Travel Partnership, a network of independent travel agents, said: “Safety and security are of course paramount, but it is vital that the Government and the travel industry work together to ensure that British a thorough understanding of the new system, when they will come into effect and how they will affect travel.

“We advise travelers to be prepared for delays on their first trip to any of the 29 European countries involved in the new system as they will need to have their fingerprints and facial photos taken.

“We understand that people may be reluctant to travel if they expect delays, but with this information valid for the next three years of travel we hope that the use of automated border checks and self-service systems will increase the speed of travel. processing times and improving the overall experience for all travelers, so we don’t think this should discourage people from traveling.

“We expect the EES will be a small addition to the travel process and will have minimal impact on the incredibly strong demand we are seeing for travel among consumers this year. We recommend that you book through your local travel agent who can ensure that you fully comply with all travel requirements.”

It comes as a government survey shows one in seven people say they are less likely to travel to mainland Europe once new EU border controls are introduced. A Department for Transport poll of 1,584 people aged 16 and over shows that the most common concern about the EES is about more queues or document checks when leaving Britain. The survey found that 20% of people would cancel or postpone a ferry trip to the region if there were delays of more than an hour due to the new system.

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