Britons to pay €7 to enter Europe – but UK government has ‘no plans’ for reciprocal fee

Minister rules out charges on arrivals from EU, after Brussels confirms plan

Adam Forrest
Wednesday 04 August 2021 10:26 BST
Related video: What will travel be like after Brexit?

British holidaymakers heading to Europe are set to pay around £6.20 after the EU published its proposals for visa-style fees and security forms.

The EU Commission has confirmed it plans to charge visitors a €7 fee when it introduces its European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) before the end of 2022.

It will affect all visitors coming from visa-exempt countries – like the UK – who want to travel to EU states and any other countries in the border-free Schengen area.

But Boris Johnson’s government made clear that it no plans to bring in a reciprocal fee for arrivals from the EU and Schengen area countries.

“I believe we have no plans to do that,” junior education minister Michelle Donelan told LBC on Wednesday. “We have our visa plans already outlined.”

The new visa-style fees and forms for travellers from the UK and other countries had been due to come into force by the end of 2021 – but the EU pushed its plans back by a year.

Under the new system – based on the US Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) – passengers will have to complete an online application form before travelling.

After being asked to answer security questions and provide personal data, passengers’ names will be cross-checked against police databases and the results sent by email.

Outlining its plans, the EU Commission promised that its new ETIAS scheme will be “simple, fast and affordable” for all holidaymakers coming to Europe’s Schengen area.

“Visa-exempt non-EU nationals will only need a few minutes to fill in an online application which in a vast majority of cases – expected to be over 95 per cent – will result in automatic approval,” said a spokesperson for the EU Commission.

“The process will be simple, fast and affordable: the ETIAS authorisation will cost €7, which will be a one-off fee, and will be valid for 3 years and for multiple entries.”

The Commission said that in “limited cases”, where further checks on the traveller are needed, authorisation could take up to 30 days.

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