Could YOU be charged to enter Europe? EU outlines plans to identify rule breakers

Travel ‘shouldn’t be done for non-essential reasons’ says expert

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Covid has started to recede from Europe, with vaccines able to hold back the tide of deaths amid tens of thousands of remaining cases. However, many EU nations have continued to entertain comparatively harsh Covid rules, firming up their borders and complicating travel for hopeful Britons. Border rules are due to firm up even further next year when people travelling to the EU face a new surcharge.

Could you be charged to enter Europe?

EU membership comes with a selection of perks, freedom of movement – which Brexit has now eliminated for people living in the UK – among them.

Freedom of movement allowed people to live, work and enjoy frictionless holidays in the bloc.

Combined with the visa-free Schengen Area, members pay less to move through Europe without additional border checks.

The Brexit vote has stripped Britons of this privilege and sprouted new barriers, one of which will cost them from next year.

The bloc is on course to adopt a new travel system for non-EU citizens in 2022.

Leaders have devised new rules for people who don’t require a visa to enter Schengen Area countries.

They will need to obtain official authorisation before going on holiday to countries within its sphere.

The EU Council confirmed people would need to fill out an online form and pay a €7 (£6) surcharge to travel across the bloc.

The charge would prop up the European Travel Information and Authorisation System due to launch in 2022.

In action, the new document would firm up security arrangements and identify potential rule-breakers.

EU officials will use the application process to identify anyone who risks infringing security, health and migration rules in the Schengen zone.

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Unfortunately for budget travellers, the zone includes many Britons’ prized holiday destinations.

Schengen area countries contain 26 of the EU’s constituent members.

Britons would need to fork over additional cash for holidays to several sun-soaked holidays hotspots, including Spain, Italy and Portugal.

Ireland and Cyprus currently do not subscribe to Schengen area rules.

Although the incoming rules may bother those hoping to travel on a budget, they will provide non-EU residents with freedoms granted by the Schengen Agreement.

Successful applications would allow people to take multiple holidays across the EU.

And authorisation would last for three years, permitting people to travel between borders for the duration.

Although selective, officials anticipate up to 95 percent of applicants will receive fast approval.

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