It’s the most asked question on our website and social media pages over the last few days. It follows stories in UK tabloids about massive queues at various European airports following a change last week to security measures. Mallorca and Madrid have both been cited as having queues of up to 4 hours.

The good news is that so far, these changes have not created any issues here in Lanzarote. We’re monitoring things, and we’ll keep you posted if that changes.

What’s Changed?

The changes came about because of an agreement between the Schengen zone countries following the Paris Terror attacks. A decision was made to scan passports from all non-Schengen zone countries in and out of the zone. That means they have a record of who has arrived and left the zone, and it also gives police a chance to compare the information against various databases, for example people with outstanding arrest warrants.

It means that everyone with a non Schengen passport now needs to be scanned into and out of the zone, so it’s no longer a cursory glance at your passport before handing it back.

What’s Schengen?

The Schengen area comprises 26 European states that have effectively banished border controls between themselves. Therefore, someone from Italy can travel into Spain or France without needing a passport.

Britain and Ireland opted out of the agreement, so they are not part of it. Four countries from outside the EU opted in, and they are Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Iceland.