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Brexit biometric tests blamed for train axe

Orient Express

New post-Brexit biometric testing has been blamed for the London to Folkestone leg of the Orient Express being axed.

Belmond, which runs the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (VSOE), says the checks will make it too difficult to get to Calais.

Currently customers take the train to Folkestone and take a coach to northern France before meeting the Continental train on the other side of the English Channel to resume the journey.

A Belmond spokesman told the Guardian: “We’re adjusting operations in 2024 ahead of enhanced passport and border controls.

“We want to avoid any risk of travel disruption for our guests – delays and missing train connections – and provide the highest level of service, as seamless and relaxed as possible.”

The European Union is introducing a new biometric entry/exit system (EES) meaning those not carrying an EU passport must provide fingerprints and facial recognition data instead of passport checks.