Passengers travelling via rail, ferry, or Eurotunnel between the UK and France next year could face severe travel disruption after the European Union’s (EU) long-awaited Entry/Exit System (EES) is put into place.

The EES process was first developed back in 2016 before the UK officially left the EU. However, following Brexit, UK travellers are now classed as non-EU visitors and will have to have their facial and biometrics logged on arrival.

The high-tech system has already been implemented in most airports across the EU, checking travellers details, biometric data, and the date and place of entry and exit. However, there are plans for the security system to become a mandatory part of all other methods of transportation in late 2021/early 2022.

While the replacement of stamping passports and manually checking documents seems like a time-efficient process, there is a concern that vast numbers of passengers or technical system glitches could cause travel mayhem – especially if the terrestrial systems (trains and ferries) come into place this holiday season.

Passengers travelling over the festive season should be aware that they are responsible for checking any travel changes or delays ahead of their trip. It is also advised they allow enough time to reach their departure destination and plan in case of delays.

Missing a departure could see passengers turning to their travel insurer for help. Whilst cover a missed departure and the associated costs may be available, it will differ between policies. Some will state only specific reason for missing a departure will be covered i.e. the car you are travelling in breaks down or you are involved in an accident. Whereas others will allow for anything unforeseen i.e. travel delays and technical faults. When buying travel insurance, we advise travellers to check the cover carefully to ensure it is what they expect.