Britons warned as new 'administrative task' at Spanish and French borders likely to cause delays

Britons warned as new 'administrative task' at Spanish and French borders likely to cause delays
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GB News
Solen Le Net

By Solen Le Net


Published: 08/03/2024

- 17:43

Updated: 12/03/2024

- 08:37

Britons will need to show additional documentation before crossing borders

Spain and France are two of the most popular destinations for Britons, luring in millions of visitors every year.

Since Britain's departure from the UK, however, rules and regulations have changed the way we travel.


Additional rules could cause minor delays for Britons visiting Spain and France as from October, experts have warned.

The new Entry-Exit System (EES) and European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) are automated systems that will control the data of non-EU citizens crossing the Schengen area’s external borders.

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Holidaymakers will face an extra step at Spanish and French borders

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Staying informed about the latest policies will prevent last-minute problems as disruptions are likely to occur, experts have warned.

The aim of the new system will ultimately make it easier for Britons to cross borders, but delays will be expected as border agents get used to verifying ETIAS permissions.

Sara Rodriguez, travel expert and founder of Madrid Traveling, explained what the bureaucratic changes will mean for tourists visiting France and Spain.

She told GB News: “The new ETIAS authorisation system going into effect in 2024 will impact British travellers heading to Spain and Franca.

“The process of applying for ETIAS online is simple and similar to the ESTA system used for US visits. It’s a small administrative task,” the expert explained.

“In terms of potential delays, the introduction of biometric checks is what likely causes most concerns. From my experience of crossing borders extensively within Europe, any changes initially cause longer waits that improve quickly once officials and travellers adjust.

“A little patience may be needed that first year but it shouldn’t deter travel.”

To best prepare for the update, Rodriguez recommends applying for the ETIAS authorisation as soon as trip details are confirmed.

Elaine Warren, travel expert and the founder and CEO of The Family Cruise Companion, added: “When ETIAS goes into effect it will mean one extra step for British travellers - they’ll need to complete the online application in addition to having a valid passport.”

Warren continued: “Peak travel times like summer holidays could see longer wait times like summer holidays could see longer wait times as passport control as everyone goes through the new screening process.”

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Britons visiting Spain may experience delays at borders

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It comes as tourists have been warned of potential fines for entering the country without the right documentation.

Though travellers do not need a visa for short visits to the European hotspot, British passport holders must now show proof of address.

UK’s Foreign Office says British citizens to travel with one of the three following documents:

  • Booking confirmation from a hotel, hostel, or Airbnb
  • Proof of address if you are visiting your own property in Spain
  • An invitation or proof of address if you are staying with family, friends, or a third party

To find out about the rules, tourists are encouraged to visit the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website before travelling.

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