Greece to introduce new rules at airports that will impact UK tourists

UK tourists planning a Greek getaway have been alerted to new passport rules set to be implemented across all airports -Credit:Getty Images

UK tourists planning a Greek getaway have been alerted to new passport rules set to be implemented across all airports in the country by the end of the year.

Greece is among 29 European nations adopting a new Entry/Exit System (EES) aimed at better monitoring non-EU tourists, including Brits. UK citizens currently cannot overstay the 90-day limit within any 180-day period in the Schengen area.

The new tech-based system will do away with manual passport stamping, currently a requirement for UK citizens each time they enter or exit the Schengen zone. Instead, Brits will need to scan their passports at self-service kiosks before crossing the border.

EES scanners are slated to be operational from October 6 this year. UK holidaymakers will need to register their fingerprints and a facial biometric at the airport when they first travel abroad post-launch.

Once registered, travellers will only need to scan one of these upon entry and exit from the Schengen area for the next three years or until their passport expires, reports Birmingham Live.

Countries in the Schengen area, such as Spain, Greece, France and Italy, have voiced concerns about the additional time the new passport control process will require. The Slovenian government has warned that it 'takes up to four times longer'.

Within half a year of the EES becoming fully operational, British holidaymakers and other non-EU travellers will need to apply online for entry permission. The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), which is expected to be established by summer 2025, will require most UK tourists to pay £6 for travel authorisation valid for up to three years.

Applications will be cross-referenced with EU border and security records, and while most people will receive confirmation within minutes, some may have to wait up to four days. Applicants requiring further checks could face delays of up to 30 days.

The European Union has advised travellers to obtain their ETIAS travel permit before booking their holidays. However, as the application website has not yet been launched, holidaymakers can continue with their usual holiday plans until then.

If you're jetting off to Greece before October, there are a few entry rules you need to be aware of. British holidaymakers must have a passport that was issued within the last ten years and it needs to be valid for at least three months beyond your planned departure date.

Until the new Entry/Exit System is in place, make sure to get your passport stamped when you arrive and depart, as without a date stamp, border officials may assume you've overstayed.

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