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Brits heading to Spain warned of ‘several changes’ at airport this May

In Europe
April 10, 2024
Photo shows a Spanish airport

Works are now under way to prepare for the EU’s new Entry/Exit System (EES) -Credit:Isabel Pavia/Moment RF/Getty Images

Brits flying to a popular destination in Spain this May have been warned of changes being made at its airport. Work is underway at passport control at Murcia Airport ahead of the EU’s new Entry/Exit System (EES) across the country.

It uses biometric technology and will change the way holidaymakers cross the border when entering and leaving several European countries including Spain, Greece, Portugal, Italy and France. It will mean manual passport stamping or travellers from outside EU countries including Britain will be replaced with self-service kiosks.

At Murcia Airport, which is served directly from Manchester Airport, the passport control area is now being altered to accommodate the new systems, including the installation of check-in e-gates that use passengers’ biometric data. Over the coming weeks manual security posts will be moved to make way for the automatic gates and the passenger flow system will be re-routed, with hallways, toilets and airport shops affected, Birmingham Live reports.

READ MORE: Fresh warning issued to holidaymakers over airport hand luggage liquid rules

It’s expected that the Entry/Exit system will be introduced at many airports across Europe by October 6 this year. Although Spanish news site Murcia Today reports that arrivals will notice ‘several changes’ to the regional airport’s passport control from as early as next month.

Once the new scanners are up and running, they will log each tourist’s name, the date and place of arrival or departure, their fingerprints and a facial image. This will then be used by the EU to track how long travellers stay in countries inside the Schengen area and record any overstayers or refusals of entry.

The new system comes ahead of another major travel change next year. The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is scheduled to come into effect in 2025 and will require tourists from outside of the EU to apply for a permit before they travel to most countries in Europe.

When it is in place, holidaymakers from the UK will be able to apply online or via an app at a cost of £6 and most will receive approval within a few minutes, however those requiring further checks may have to wait up to 30 days. The permit will last for three years or until the person’s passport expires – whichever is sooner.

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