New Eurostar changes are coming into effect from October, Ross Lydall explains what they are

  • 17 days ago
Eurostar passengers at St Pancras station in London will not face chaos when new EU border checks are introduced in October, train bosses have insisted.The EES (entry and exit system) is due to launch on October 6, from which point non-EU passengers – such as British nationals – will have to undergo facial recognition and fingerprint checks prior to crossing the border.The new rules will be most visible at St Pancras and at UK ferry ports such as Calais, and at Le Shuttle terminal in Folkestone, because in each case the French border is on UK soil.Reports this week suggested that passengers would have to turn up at least two hours in advance, meaning an end to “turn up and go” travel and lengthy queues causing chaos throughout the station.But Simon Lejeune, chief stations and security officer at Eurostar, told a media briefing on Tuesday: “We are confident it won’t be a shit-show, because we have got the right set-up.“We are not going to ask our customers to arrive earlier. We are confident, and our modelling supports this, that, end to end, we are still going to be operating within the current check-in times – and we are looking at reducing them.”This will mean passengers will normally be required to arrive at the Eurostar area in St Pancras station between 45 to 60 minutes prior to their train’s departure time, and 90 minutes in advance during peak times, such as school holidays.