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Two thirds of adults in the UK are not aware of the European Union’s new Entry/Exit System.

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The European Union is set to introduce its new Entry/Exit System (EES) in October, but a significant number of UK adults are unaware of how it will work. A recent study by Co-op Insurance found that nearly two-thirds of UK adults have no idea about the implementation of EES. This new system will require fingerprints and facial scans from UK travelers heading to EU countries, and data will remain in the system for three years. Despite the upcoming launch, 22 percent of UK adults admit they would be put off traveling to Europe as a result of the EES.

The EES will essentially introduce a ‘digital border’ between EU/Schengen Area countries and those outside. Instead of manual passport stamping, passengers will have their fingerprints and facial images captured during their first arrival on the continent. Subsequent trips will involve quicker processing, with data remaining in the system for three years before being erased. Although the EES is designed for security purposes, the idea of having personal details captured for an extended period is causing concern among 46 percent of UK adults, with 38 percent worried about potential delays at border control.

The head of Travel at Co-op Insurance, Graham Ward-Lush, emphasizes the need for all travelers to be informed about the changes brought by the EES, regardless of their reservations. He highlights the stress that can come with traveling, especially in airports where various processes need to be followed. As 2024 shapes up to be a significant year for travel, it is crucial for holidaymakers to be well-prepared to ensure stress-free trips. The EES has caused concerns beyond just personal data capture, as a new app intended to help British travelers avoid long queues at border control will not be ready in time for the system’s launch.

The delay in the EES app is causing issues for transportation companies like Eurostar, which operates trains between the UK and Europe. With the app not ready by October, Eurostar is preparing for manual checks at stations to manage customer flow smoothly. Additionally, more than 49 kiosks are being installed at London St Pancras station to accommodate the increased checks. Despite these challenges, the EU is adamant about launching the EES as planned in October, even without the fully functional app. The introduction of the EES will bring significant changes to the way travelers enter and exit EU countries, necessitating awareness and preparation for all those planning to visit Europe in the coming months.

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