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App to cut EU border queues won't be ready in time




The head of Eurostar has said that an app intended to lessen delays for British citizens going across the Channel won't be ready in time for a new EU border scheme. Non-EU nationals will have to register their fingerprints and a photo at the border starting in October in accordance with the much-delayed Entry Exit System (EES).

It was intended that the software would enable tourists to do this from a distance and spare UK travellers from standing in line.

But, Eurostar CEO Gwendoline Cazenave has said that because the app won't be available in time, the rail company was getting ready for the checks to take place at stations.

Passport stamping will be replaced by EES. Its goal is to provide greater control over who enters and exits the EU.

However, there have been numerous alerts warning of the lengthy lines that will form at the Port of Dover, Eurostar, and Eurotunnel terminals due to the additional time required for passengers to finish their initial registration.

Checks are conducted at these locations by French border police as individuals leave the UK.

According to Ms Cazenave, Eurostar has started setting up over thirty kiosks at St Pancras in advance of the switch to EES this autumn.

The epidemic caused a sharp decline in Eurostar's passenger and revenue figures, but by year's end, the cross-Channel train company had bounced back to pre-Covid levels.

Up to two million travellers are anticipated during this summer's Olympics in Paris.

The Olympic teams from Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany are partnered with Eurostar.

According to Ms. Cazenave, sales of London-Paris tickets were three times higher than average when they went on sale in November.

She stated that although the cost of a Eurostar ticket was more than that of an airline ticket, it was still "not the same service" because the trains took passengers directly into the heart of cities.

There was a desire for environmentally friendly travel, she continued.

"The key is to organise the flow of customers through the station, have as many employees as you can, and provide as much room as you can for customers to cross the border smoothly," she stated.

Although the EU had stated that EES will debut without the app, the CEO of Eurostar claimed that the software would streamline operations and that "we're sure they will deploy it soon."


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