EU Clarifies That Health Information & Biometrics Won’t Be Needed for ETIAS

The European Union has clarified for travellers from third countries under the Schengen Area visa-free entry regime that when the ETIAS travel authorization requirement becomes effective in 2024, they will not be required to submit health information or biometrics in order to obtain this authorisation.

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The clarification comes amid growing misinformation related to the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), which is scheduled to become effective sometime by the middle of 2024, though an exact date remains unknown, reports.

In an article published in the official ETIAS website, which currently offers only information on the system and does not accept applications yet, the EU points out that applicants will not need to provide information on their health, i.e. vaccinations, once the system starts operating.

When applying for an ETIAS, travellers will not be required to provide any information related to their health or vaccination status. When applying for ETIAS, travellers will also not be requested to provide any biometric data, such as fingerprints,” the EU points out.

It further clarifies that travellers from other 60 world countries who will be in need of the ETIAS, will be asked a few security questions in order for the system to evaluate whether the same present any type of danger for the Schengen Zone and the EU. Here are included questions about past criminal convictions, as well as questions regarding trips to conflict zones.

Travellers will also be asked about their personal details, name and surname, place of birth, passport info, address, email, phone number, etc.

All applications will be checked against EU security databases before being granted a decision. According to the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), 97 per cent of applicants will have their ETIAS application processed and approved immediately.

The remaining three per cent of applications, on the other hand, will be reviewed manually by the ETIAS Central Unit and the National Units, for final decision.

Travellers who do not have a valid travel authorisation will be refused boarding by the carrier (for example, an airline, bus or ferry company),” Frontex had pointed out in a statement released at the beginning of June this year.

In recent weeks, the EU has intensified its campaign to inform travellers on the ETIAS by fighting misinformation. Last month, has reported on some of the most common myths regarding the ETIAS, which the EU has debunked, including here the belief that the ETIAS is a visa, which is completely untrue.

>> 9 Things You Need to Know About ETIAS Before It Becomes Effective in 2024