ARE you thinking of booking a holiday on the continent for next year?

From next year all Brits wanting a break in Europe will have to pay for a travel permit.

The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) comes into force from 2024.

According to the Etias website, it is intended to screen travellers "as a response to the global increase in terrorist activities".

British citizens will be required to apply for an ETIAS, currently costing seven euros, to enter 30 European countries on a short term basis - under 90 days, for general tourism, business, transit or medical purposes.

Travellers who will be transiting in Europe en route to other global destinations must also apply.

Under 18s, over 70s, or family members of either EU citizens or non-EU citizens with the right of free movement in the EU are exempt.

Malvern Gazette: Fancy a mini break in Paris? From next year Brits will need a travel permit to enter 30 European countriesFancy a mini break in Paris? From next year Brits will need a travel permit to enter 30 European countries (Image: Skitterphoto)

Currently people can hop over to countries such as France, Spain, Italy, Holland and Greece without a visa, given the UK's visa-free agreement with the EU.

The scheme was announced by the European Commission in November 2016, after the UK voted to leave the EU, and was implemented into legislation in September 2018.

It was due to launch in 2020, was postponed to 2022 and postponed again to next year.

Travellers must have an e-passport that is machine readable, and apply for the Etias, which is valid for three years, at least 96 hours before departure.

The Etias website said the application will be "processed and approved within minutes", and will be stored electronically against the passport details stored in the European Immigration system.

If denied for an ETIAS, travellers can still apply for full visitor visa.

Nor does the ETIAS guarantee entry to Europe - the final decision is made by the border security personnel of the European country of arrival.

In 2021 Baroness Sally Hamwee, chair of the House of Lords Justice and Home Affairs Committee, said that "all non-EU citizens attempting to cross into the Schengen Area 
will have an individual Entry/Exit System file created on them and that every time they enter or exit the Schengen Area, this will be automatically recorded in their file".

She added: "Public awareness of these systems would seem to be extremely limited."

Countries Brits will need a permit for are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Romania, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and European microstates with open borders including Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City.