Brits Visiting Greece Will Have Extra Security Checks At The Airport
Holidaymakers heading over to Greece this summer have been warned to get to the airport early when returning home as police will be carrying out extra checks.
A statement they warned: "As of 7 April 2019, the Hellenic Police will begin implementing systematic passport control checks for all European citizens travelling to/from destinations outside the Schengen area (including the UK) in line with a 2017 Schengen Borders Code regulation.
"Increased waiting times at passport control are possible on departure from and arrival into Greece. You should ensure you arrive at the airport in good time."
The Schengen area is made up of 26 European countries and all but a few abolished checks at the borders between these states.
As the UK isn't part of this group, Brits returning home from their hols this summer could find themselves waiting much longer than usual - potentially causing them to miss flights if they don't get to the airport in time.
For flights outside of the UK, passengers are usually advised to arrive about two hours before take-off to allow for checks. And though the Foreign Office hasn't given a specific time for people to get to the airport, today's warning seems to suggest they should allow for slightly longer.
The news comes a week after the UK was due to leave the European Union.
Speaking to the Sun, travel expert Rory Boland, criticised the timing of the changes, with the Easter holidays just around the corner for British families.
The Which? travel editor said: "These new passport checks could have been introduced at any time in the last two years, so bringing them in days before the Easter break seems like bad timing by the Greek authorities.
"Holidaymakers will have already booked car hires and transfers and could face fines if they are late and stuck in queues.
"Anyone travelling to or from Greece from April 7 should allow extra time when arriving and leaving the airport, and if necessary, speak with their car hire or transfer company to allow more time."
Yesterday, the EU ambassadors backed an agreement to allow Brits visa-free travel to the European Schengen Area even in the event of a no-deal Brexit - but only if the UK government agrees to do the same.
A press release confirming the news said: "If approved, the legislation will apply from the day following the UK's withdrawal from the European Union. From that date, UK nationals who are British citizens will not be required to have a visa for stays in the EU of up to 90 days in any 180-day period."
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