UK is preparing for a biometric border with France amid growing fear of travel delays


The UK is investing £10 million to soften the blow of automated biometric border crossings, which will be introduced in October.

As reported by BBC, tens of millions of pounds are being invested in hardware and processing facilities at Dover’s ferry port, the Eurostar terminals at London St Pancras, and the Eurotunnel site in Folkestone to reduce the potential queues.

Under the Entry-Exit System (EES), non-EU nationals, including Brits, will be required to register their biometric information the first time they cross the border. This initial registration process must be completed in person at the port or station.

Concerns have been raised about potential significant delays, with UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron issuing warnings about the situation.

Dover Port plans to process coaches separately from cars and aims to reclaim a dock from the sea to create additional space.

Eurostar will also expand into new areas of St Pancras station to accommodate new kiosks.

Eurostar introduced biometric check-in on its trains in 2023. The SmartCheck system allows passengers to get their tickets, passports, and faces checked before they travel using a mobile app.

Before traveling, passengers use the app to scan their identity documentation and verify their faces alongside their tickets using their mobile devices. At the station, passengers are checked at the walk-past facial biometric checkpoint.

At the beginning of May, a glitch in the biometric gates system in UK airports caused chaos and delays, as passengers could not be authenticated for a couple of hours.