Want to visit Europe? That’s gonna cost you €5

— Planning a European holiday? Get ready for some extra paperwork. And a new fee.

Foreign visitors who currently enjoy visa-free travel to the European Union may soon have to register online and pay €5 before visiting the region, according to a new proposal from the European Commission.

The change would hit visitors to the Schengen Area, which includes most EU states, as well as Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The requirements would apply to citizens of all non-EU countries.

The idea is to force visitors to register so that their details can be checked against security databases before they arrive at the region’s border.

That could help to identify people who might pose a security threat, the European Commission said. Interpol and Europol information could also be checked and visitors could be screened for public health risks and their immigration status.

Europe already gets this information about anyone traveling on a visa. However, it doesn’t have means to screen visa-free travelers, including most American tourists, ahead of their arrival.

“We welcome 30 million visa-free travelers every year … but our openness cannot come at the cost of security and safety of our citizens,” said Dimitris Avramopoulos, the EU’s top migration and home affairs official.

Europe is also looking to start taking photographs and fingerprints of visitors from outside the union — a system the U.S. already has in place for non-citizens crossing its borders.

The proposed system might seem like a nuisance to some visitors, but it will still be much easier than getting a visa. According to the European Commission, the online registration form will only take a few minutes to complete and applicants won’t be required to visit an embassy or mail any paperwork. Once registered, the authorization will last for five years.

The plan is very similar to the ESTA scheme used in the U.S., which requires visitors from countries with visa-free access to register prior to their travel. The online registration lasts for two years and costs $14. It takes about 20 minutes to complete.

Its European equivalent could be put into action within three years.

The new system would apply to British citizens once the U.K. leaves the European Union.

Your Starbucks drink may have 25 spoons of sugar in it

— Warning: You might want to put that caramel latte down before reading this.

Flavored drinks served by the likes of Starbucks can contain up to 25 teaspoons of sugar per serving, according to a new report by a British campaign group Action on Sugar.

That’s three times the amount of sugar in one can of coke, and more than three times the maximum adult daily intake recommended by the American Heart Association.

The report said that 98% of hot flavored drinks sold at major coffee chains in the U.K. have excessive levels of sugars per serving, with 35% containing nine or more teaspoons of sugar — the same amount as a can of Coca Cola.

Action on Sugar describes itself as “a group of specialists concerned with sugar and its effects on health.” Its advisers and staff include doctors, nutritionists and public health specialists. It analyzed 131 hot drinks, including flavored lattes, chai teas, mocha coffees and mulled fruit drinks. The survey touched on nine big coffee shops and food chains in Britain including Starbucks, Costa and Pret a Manger.

The group also campaigns against hidden sugars in everyday food, organizes “Sugar awareness week,” and advises people on how to eat less sugar.

The report said Starbucks’ hot mulled fruit grape with chai, orange and cinnamon was the “worst offender,” with 25 teaspoons of sugar.

Two other popular Starbucks choices — vanilla latte and caramel macchiato — contain more than eight teaspoons of sugar each.

Starbucks said it has committed to reduce added sugar in its “indulgent drinks” by 25% by the end of 2020. “We also offer a wide variety of lighter options, sugar-free syrups and sugar-free natural sweetener and we display all nutritional information in-store and online,” a Starbucks spokesperson said.

A medium Dunkin’ Donuts vanilla chai has over 11 teaspoons of sugar, while a hot macchiato includes 7 teaspoons. KFC’s mocha contains 15 teaspoons of sugar. A large mocha at McDonald’s has 11 teaspoons, and a chai latte massimo at the British chain Costa Coffee includes 20 teaspoons.

“These hot flavored drinks should be an occasional treat, not an ‘everyday’ drink. They are laden with an unbelievable amount (of) sugar and calories and are often accompanied by a high sugar and fat snack,” said Kawther Hashem, a researcher for Action on Sugar.

Health campaigns against excessive sugar contents has been gaining momentum in recent years. The World Health Organization has recently suggested cutting the recommended sugar intake for adults in half, to about 25 grams, around 6 teaspoons, of sugar for a normal weight adult a day.


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