British and other non-EU travellers entering the EU will have fingerprints and facial scans taken from autumn, under the new EES digital security system.
The i and Times newspapers have reported that the planned date of introduction of the EES scheme is 6th October 2024, and technology is already being tested.
The rules will apply whenever a non-EU national enters a Schengen-area state for the first time. All EU countries apart from Cyprus and Ireland are within the Schengen agreement, as are Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein. As a region of Spain, the Canary Islands are also fully integrated into the EU and the Schengen zone.
The EES rules are expected to cause significant delays at borders. However, the EU claims they will improve border security and make controlling immigration and overstaying more easy. Once the EES is up-and-running, the ETIAS scheme, which will bring a €7 charge for all non-EU travellers entering the Schengen zone, will be phased in.
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