Will there be visas?

By | Category: Travel rumblings

The announcement yesterday by Michael Gove, the minister responsible for putting in the practicalities after we leave the EU, that businesses should prepare for import documents after January 1st 2021 makes me believe that there might be similar paperwork for travellers and holidaymakers.

Will we require visas for entering EU countries next year?

He said that all traders will have to prepare customs declarations on cross channel ferries.

If that is to happen for goods, isn’t it likely that there will be people checks as well?

Yes, but maybe not so obviously.

With biometric passports, passing through immigration controls can be quick provided there are sufficient machines. Returning to the UK at the weekend, I passed through Birmingham Airport quite quickly. But in Australia, a country requiring Britons to apply for visas and complete paper-based forms (less likely to be manipulable by fraudsters than electronic ones) I got through their system even faster in Sydney than I did in Birmingham.

Nonetheless, some entry checks will still cause concern because people must apply requiring time and money to be spent by those countries that we visit.

Countries outside the EU will be hoping that the bureaucracy involved in traveling to EU countries from the beginning of 2021 will be onerous because then we might look elsewhere and particularly at their destinations. And EU countries surely won’t want to lose all the economic benefits that UK visitors bring?

Given that Spain and France receive about 38 million visits from UK based people each year, those two countries will have to set up systems to cope with such a vast number of additional controls are put in place.

Since visitor numbers are so important to their economies, making things too difficult for travellers might make those travellers consider visits elsewhere. And for other EU countries like Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta and Italy hall have significant proportions of their economy due to British visitors, they may not want to make life too difficult either.

As mentioned earlier, Portugal is striving to reduce any additional problems that Uk visitors might face in travelling there.

That is if they are pragmatic rather than wishing to make the UK suffer for wanting to leave the EU.

Tour operators, travel agents, and destinations as well as holidaymakers all want to know what will be in place for 2021.

The sooner we all know, the sooner we can plan what our travel plans next year will be.

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