Biometric ID cards being used to eliminate some Brexit prohibitions
Brexit has caused a drop in inbound travel, prompting segments of that industry to pressure UK officials to ease up. The best that London can offer right now, however, is a temporary patch and a confusing knot of new and old travel regulations.
Children visiting the UK from France as part of class trips can now legally enter using just national IDs with biometric images. Non-EU students residing in France will need a passport but not a visa for school trips.
Legislation will have to be amended to put the rule changes in place and it is not known when that will happen.
Other EU members could get in on the program if the France experience is positive.
Prior to the UK’s separation from Europe, children from the EU on school trips could visit under special group visas.
After Brexit, all EU school children were required to have a passport, which is more costly in time and money. Children not from the EU had to apply for a visa.
The process was inefficient and suppressed lucrative travel to the UK, according to reporting by the Financial Times.
Things are more pointed in the UK dependency Guernsey, where French residents can visit after a ferry ride – if red tape is minimized.
Officials in April made it legal for French visitors to authenticate themselves using only their national ID card. According to reporting by news publisher ITV, the island enjoyed “thousands of extra tourists” because of the change.
This is just a short respite, however, something that’s due to end next September at the latest. The UK government expects to have its electronic travel authorization program in place in October.