More Friction in American Sector Travels

By Anton Eggendorfer

Oh great, a new travel directive from the European union is soon upon us. It’s called ETIAS [1], which means “European Travel Information and Authorization System”. In former times certain countries like the US had 90-day visa-less entry into the Euro-Schengen zone but that is going to change.

Will this mean that people with no passport at all, who come from the Arab world will also be restricted in their access? Of course not, these are refugees, fleeing from oppressive regimes or the climate or whatever else reason our leaders can think of. This applies to business travelers or holiday makers who, in a severe lapse of judgment, decided to visit an evil country. Have you recently been to Belarus, Cuba or Russia? That might be a problem in the future. As states “…the days of frictionless travel will soon be a memory. Starting at a so-far-unspecified date in early 2024, Americans and residents of 62 other countries that currently enjoy visa-free visitation to the Schengen Area of the E.U. will need to pay a fee and submit an online application (including biometric information, work experience, medical conditions, and initial itinerary), then pass a criminal/security background check, before enjoying that croissant in gay Paree.” [2]

Since we are in the American sector, there’s of course a similar system already in place in the US with a very similar name. It’s called ESTA. [3] What might still sound futuristic to a good natured European is already reality in the US. A simple holiday trip to Cuba, a few cigars, a little rum, might land you on a list that should be normally reserved for terror suspects and the like. What is clear is that the system of frictionless travel is nearing its end and those who enjoy a broader sense of travel might soon be punished. It might also impact those who have family in countries, that don’t enjoy a favorable view from the American sector, the EU-Nato zone. If you’re by any chance planning on leaving the American sector, it might be advisable to follow this development rather closely, so that you don’t end up on a terror list when you try visiting your family.


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