UK travellers will soon need to apply to travel to the EU and pay a £6 fee

UK travellers will soon need to apply to travel to the EU and pay a £6 fee (Photo by JOSE JORDAN/AFP via Getty Images)

People from the UK who wish to travel to mainland Europe will have to pay a £6 fee to do so, under plans which will come into effect starting next year.

Under the new European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) travellers will require travel documents as passports, but the need for complex visas will be avoided.

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Travel to mainland Europe from the UK will now mean paying a £6 fee to enter, as a result of the UK’s exit form the European Union.

How will the ETIAS system work?

Under the new system, travellers will apply to travel to the EU and will still need a passport, but may face checks of their criminal record.

The application process will be done through an online form which will be automated, unless an issue is raised in which case the applications will be checked manually, with a window to appeal in cases where the application is denied.

The proposal reads: "ETIAS will not change which non-EU countries are subject to a visa requirement and will also not introduce a new visa requirement for nationals of countries that are visa-exempt," the proposal says.

"Visa-exempt non-EU nationals will only need a few minutes to fill in an online application, which in a vast majority of cases (expected to be over 95 per cent) will result in automatic approval."

The ETIAS system is modelled on the US Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) which allows citizens from more than 35 countries to stay for up to 90 days without a visa.

The plans were confirmed this week and will likely be introduced by the end of 2022.