LONDON: Britons considering a summer vacation in Europe are being warned to double-check that their passport fits EU requirements.
Two passengers have reported being turned away from departure gates because their paperwork did not meet the standards.
Delays in processing passport applications are exacerbating the problem as demand for travel returns following the COVID-19 outbreak.
Passports must fulfil two conditions, according to the government website, for individuals seeking to travel an EU nation (except Ireland).
They must be less than ten years old (as of the date of issue) on the day you enter your destination.
They must be valid for at least three months after you leave the country.
However, for some Schengen countries, your passport “may need to be less than 10 years old for your whole vacation,” the guidance adds.
In addition, the three months following the conclusion of your vacation “may need to be within 10 years of the issuance date of your passport.”
The Schengen region is made up of 26 EU nations that have eliminated all passport and other border formalities at their common borders.
While the UK government claims to be “seeking the European Commission to clarify the 10-year norm,” guidelines for “Schengen border guards” may not be revised until the spring of 2022.
One lady expressed her “crushing despair” on Facebook after being “turned away at the departure gate for a trip to Tenerife due to a problem with my passport.”
Despite the fact that it does not expire “until March 2023.”
And Ian Glover, 66, said he was turned away from a check-in desk at East Midlands Airport on April 25 because his passport’s issuance date was not close enough to the conclusion of his scheduled journey to Portugal.
Derbyshire Live quoted him as saying: “They also want three months from the date of issue’s expiration. That is not made obvious at all.”
Last week, MPs were informed that a 10-week timetable for processing passport applications had been missed in some circumstances.
Labour’s Stephanie Peacock, for example, told the Commons of a woman who filed her daughter’s application in January but has yet to get it.
According to the Passport Office, five million Britons delayed renewing their credentials due to the epidemic, and it is currently seeing “exceptional demand,” with a record one million applications handled in March.
It went on to say that the “vast majority” of applications were still being processed in less than 10 weeks, and that it had hired 500 people in the previous year and was looking for 700 more.