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BREXIT

European nationals face new ID rule when travelling to UK

European nationals have been warned that the rules to enter the UK will change at the end of the month, meaning ID cards will no longer be accepted at the border.

European nationals face new ID rule when travelling to UK
AFP

Nationals of EU countries as well as Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will no longer be able to use their country’s national identity cards as a means of entry into the UK from the end of September.

From October 1st 2021 onwards travellers will only be able to enter the UK using their passport – previously travellers who had citizenship of EU countries could use their national ID card instead.

Under EU rules, citizens of member states that issue national identity cards, can use them for travel within the EU and Schengen area instead of a passport.

This was the case for travel to the UK when it was part of the EU. The change in rule in October is as a result of Brexit.

In general far fewer people own passports in these EU countries compared to national identity cards, which are obligatory in states such as France.

But the change of rule for travel to the UK may force many to apply for passports.

However there will be some exceptions.

The Home Office states that these nationals can continue to use national ID card to enter the UK until at least December 31st 2025 if they:

  • have settled or pre-settled status under the UK’s EU Settlement Scheme
  • have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme but not yet received a decision
  • have an EU Settlement Scheme family permit
  • have a frontier worker permit
  • are an S2 Healthcare Visitor
  • are a Swiss Service Provider

Travellers will need to have the appropriate documents to prove the above status at the UK border.

Irish citizens can continue to use a passport card to travel to the UK.

EU travellers do not need a visa for short trips to the UK.

Member comments

  1. Can you comment on the requirement from the end of September for those visiting from the UK to have a UK sticker on their car. GB will no longer be valid? Nor will the England Welsh or Scottish flag. Only the Union Flag.

  2. There is a BBC news feed article today addressing this issue. You should be able to retrieve it via their website.

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TOURISM

IN PICS: Madrid to have largest artificial beach in Spain and Europe

Inland Madrid is set to have a new nearby beach complex in 2023 which will feature a huge lagoon, a sailing school, aquatic slides, beach bars and plenty more across a whopping 105,000m2 area.

IN PICS: Madrid to have largest artificial beach in Spain and Europe

“¡Vaya, vaya! ¡Aquí no hay playa!” (Well, well! No beach here!) the famous 80s Spanish song by The Refrescos goes, mocking the fact that Madrid is one of Spanish regions furthest from the coast. 

But madrileños may get the last laugh in the end as there are plans underway to build Europe’s largest artificial beach.

It will be just half an hour away from the capital in the municipality of Alovera in Guadalajara province, which is technically in the Castilla-La Mancha region, but Madrid has already claimed Alovera Beach as its own.

Construction is underway on a mega-project which requires more than 15km2 of sand and 25km2 of water.

The whole beach complex will measure 105,000 m2 and will feature a huge lagoon, as well as a surrounding area of sand. 

Alovera Beach is set to be the largest artificial beach in Europe. Photo: Alovera Beach

The sand zone is set to have several beach bars, hammocks for relaxing in, beach volleyball courts and an open-air gym, while the lagoon area is set to have water sports, a sailing school, slides, water chutes, zip lines and smaller pools for kids.  

But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. The project, created in conjunction with US-based company Crystal Lagoons has been halted on several occasions, in part due to its ginormous size, political debates, and the huge cost of the work, which comes in at an estimated €15.6 million.

The aim is reportedly to create around 350 direct and indirect jobs and welcome between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors a year.

While some of Spain’s political parties – PP, Ciudadanos and Vox – are in favour of the beach, others including PSOE and Unidas Podemos are against it, citing the fact that the lagoon area is going to be filled with the drinking water taken from the local supply.

The terrace area will be filled with restaurants and chiringuitos. Photo: Alovera Beach.

In their defence, the constructors of Alovera Beach have clarified that the volume of water is similar to the annual consumption of a development of 80 homes, but with the difference that the lagoon will only be filled once.

They have also said that it will consume half the amount of water of conventional park irrigation and 40 or 50 times less than the maintenance of a golf course, as well as use 100 times fewer chemicals than normal swimming pools.

The huge lagoon will measure 25km2. Photo: Alovera Beach

To add to their sustainability commitment, Crystal Lagoons and Alovera Beach will also create a large natural park surrounding the complex, in order to encourage biodiversity in the area.

Those in Madrid who can’t wait until 2023 for the project to be complete, should visit the Blue Flag-awarded Virgen de la Nueva beach on the banks of the San Martín de Valdeiglesias reservoir. 

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