Limited consumer awareness of new EU entry rules revealed

Almost two thirds (63%) of UK consumers are unaware of changes being introduced due to the EU’s new Entry/Exit System (EES) from October, according to new research.

And nearly a quarter (22%) said they would be ‘put off’ visiting the continent due to the system.

The results emerged after Eurostar warned that an app designed to alleviate disruption for British travellers going across the Channel will not be ready in time for the new EU border scheme.

The introduction of a ‘digital border’ between EU/Schengen area countries and those outside is being brought in to replace the current manual stamping of passports.

It will see passengers agree to fingerprint and facial image capture the first time they arrive on the continent following the launch.

Holidaymakers have been assured that subsequent trips would involve quicker processing, with data already captured and remaining in the system for three years following an individual’s last trip to a country using the EES system. 

After this time, and for data protection purposes, data will be erased from the system, with each new visit triggering another three years of validity, until the expiry date of the passport.

However, of those ‘put off’ by the new process, just under half (46%) said they didn’t like the idea of their details being captured and remaining in the system for up to three years, while almost two fifths (38%) said the potential for ‘long delays at border control’ would make them think twice, according to the Co-op Insurance poll of more than 2,000 adults.

The process of getting through security at airports was cited as the most stressful part of going on holiday (27%), followed by the feeling of forgetting something (26%) and meeting luggage allowances and weight (24%).

When asked specifically about the impact of going through airport security, alongside feelings of being ‘stressed’ (23%), 19% said they felt ‘anxious’, with 18% feeling ‘nervous’.

Graham Ward-Lush, head of travel at Co-op Insurance, said:“As these new changes to airport security launch, it’s important for travellers to be aware of what to expect so they can plan accordingly.

“Going on holiday is a great way for people to take a break and unwind, however, as our research shows, there can be an added stress that comes with travelling to your destination, as travellers navigating the fast pace that comes with being in an airport and following the various processes in place.

“From our data, we can see that 2024 is already shaping up to be a big year for travel and so we want to make sure holidaymakers are well prepared so that they can ensure their trips are stress free.”

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