The UK government has unveiled plans to introduce a new travel scheme aimed at bolstering the country’s border security measures. The Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) will require visitors from countries outside the European Union to obtain permission before travelling to the UK.
Under the ETA scheme, visitors will need to complete an online application process before travelling to the UK. The application will require personal information such as the traveller’s name, passport details, travel itinerary, and accommodation details. The ETA is expected to cost around £6 ($8) per application and will be valid for up to two years.
The ETA scheme will be introduced in phases, with the first phase planned to begin in 2024. Initially, the scheme will be voluntary, with visitors from certain countries required to apply for an ETA before they can enter the UK. The government has not yet released a full list of countries that will be affected by the new scheme.
The introduction of the ETA has been welcomed by some, who believe that it will help to strengthen the UK’s borders and improve security measures. However, others have raised concerns about the impact on tourism and the additional costs and administrative burdens that may be placed on visitors.
In response to these concerns, the government has stated that the ETA scheme will be “simple and straightforward” to apply for and that the cost will be reasonable. The government has also stated that the scheme will be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure that it remains effective and efficient.
The ETA scheme is similar to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) used by the United States and other countries. The UK government has stated that the ETA will be tailored to the UK’s specific needs and requirements, and will take into account the country’s unique security and public health concerns.
Overall, the ETA scheme represents a significant step towards strengthening the UK’s borders and enhancing security measures. While there may be some initial challenges and concerns, the government’s commitment to regular reviews and updates should help to ensure that the scheme remains effective and efficient in the years ahead.