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According to Ryanair's website:

Irrespective of a passenger's visa requirements, all non-EU/EEA citizens must have their travel documents checked and stamped at the Ryanair Visa/Document Check Desk before going through airport security. Your boarding pass will display this information for routes that you must comply with this Visa/Document checks requirement.

Does this mean British citizens will need to visit this special visa/document check desk starting from Friday, January 1st? There is a similar requirement on the WizzAir website that doesn't seem to have an exception for British citizens.

Update: this isn't about Schengen immigration formalities. This is purely about Ryanair's own quirky policy. See How to fly with Ryanair as a non-EU citizen?

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    @jcaron Ryanair does their silly "visa check" landside even if you're a permanent resident of the EU. WizzAir is the only other airline (AFAIK) that uses this system.
    – JonathanReez
    Dec 29 '20 at 21:41
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    @usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ furthermore, as far as I'm aware (which is not very far because I haven't followed it very closely), they do this check even for internal Schengen flights, and even for domestic flights where there is no question of immigration formalities at the border.
    – phoog
    Dec 29 '20 at 23:28
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    @jcaron Which rules now? British residents are already banned from entering most EU countries (following the recent scare around the new variant) so nothing will change on January 1st. Before that, rules typically lumped the UK together with other states associated with the EU. Why would that automatically change on January 1st? Those are ad hoc national rules only loosely connected to the EU freedom of movement or the Brexit transition period. Meanwhile, British citizens who reside in, e.g., Australia are still free to enter. Not that this does anything to resolve the question.
    – Relaxed
    Dec 30 '20 at 2:19
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    @jcaron As I said and unless I am mistaken, those are ad hoc national rules (i.e. it's a unilateral decision by each EU country). Politically, the connection is clear but legally they are not based on any agreement or on the transition period (or, for that matter, on the council recommendation which is not itself legally binding and has been frequently ignored). That's why I used “associated with the EU” as opposed to a more specific legal notion and why I fail to see why that would immediately and automatically change on January 1st.
    – Relaxed
    Dec 30 '20 at 14:54
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    In practice, it's completely moot, I fully expect the more recent restrictions to extend to the first few weeks of 2021 and then to be replaced by some other ad hoc regime that would not necessarily include any special exemption for the UK but I have trouble seeing what rule would kick in on January 1st.
    – Relaxed
    Dec 30 '20 at 15:01
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Looks like the answer is still no, as of May 2021:

A recent rumor that appeared both on social media and in some online newspapers claimed that UK nationals would no longer be permitted to use online boarding passes when flying into the European Union, as per screenshots that were widely circulated of the budget airline’s terms and conditions. I recently contacted Ryanair, however, who confirmed that this is not true and that mobile boarding passes are still available to British nationals. “Additional questions may need to be answered in the online check-in process but mobile passes will still be administered once this is complete,” the Ryanair press office stated.

(I'm inferring a "no" as third country nationals are not allowed to use mobile boarding passes, so that a Ryanair rep could stamp the physical piece of paper during the "visa check")

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This should have been a comment, but is suitable as an answer. Actually, it is a guess and is not based on reliable information.

Airlines, as we know already, want to check visas thoroughly to avoid the cost of bringing refused passengers back.

Airlines are also accountable for the usage of the airport facilities (gates) and the delays in flight. Rule of thumb: airlines pay more money to the airport if the flight gets delayed.

The back-end fare system is a lot complicated because airlines can choose or not to use their own ground staff or hire local staff. Indeed, low-cost companies like Ryanair succeed in reducing the costs to get their beloved revenues. This includes optimizing the utilization of human staff.

It is then intuitive that the documents checks at the check-in desk is likely way faster/cheaper than the check at the gate, in particular when compared to the risk of discussion with the passenger and consequent delays. Remember: a passenger with invalid visa requirements will attempt to their best to convince the attendant to let them go.

Of course airport security staff won't prohibit you to enter the secure zone and approach the gate if your boarding ticket was not stamped.

I don't know what happens if you skip visa check, but anything may happen from harsh lecture to direct no-questions-allowed refusal.

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    This is a good generic answer, but my question is purely about Ryanair and their odd unique system of checking visas. Since Brexit is happening on Friday, it is now possible to answer (or should be possible on Friday at the latest).
    – JonathanReez
    Dec 29 '20 at 21:46
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    FWIW, the "cost of bringing refused passengers back" is insignificant, and can be charged to the passenger. The issue is that the airline can be charged a fine by the foreign country, which can be significant, especially for multiple occurrences.
    – Doc
    Dec 30 '20 at 17:17
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For entry into the Schengen Area (not within the Common Travel Area), British citizens will be treated as third-country nationals.

A entry/exit stamp will be placed in their passport to enforce the 90/180 days rule.

An exception will be made for those presently (2020) inside the Schengen Area. The 90/180 day clock will start on the 2021-01-01, so the lack of an entry stamp will not automatically assume an overstay.

Should, for any reason, no stamp upon entry be given it is advised to retain some proof of date of entry (ticket etc.) to avoid complications when leaving.

The same is true for (non-Irish) EU Citizens when entering the United Kingdom, especially when arriving from the Republic of Ireland. At present it is not clear how the date of entry will be noted for those travelling with only an ID (which will still be possible until 2021-10-01), afterwhich a passport is required for non-resident EU Citizens who are not Irish.

As to how private corporations, who will be held responsible for transporting persons without the proper paperwork, will deal with this is their affair. Assume they will refuse to allow you to board if you don't fulfill their conditions.

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    "The 90/180 day clock will start on the 2021-01-01": what is your source for that? It must be incorrect, because it does not reciprocate the status of EU, EEA and Swiss nationals who are physically present in the UK at midnight of December 31, 2020 to January 1, 2021. They can remain indefinitely, so there is no overstay, assumed or otherwise.
    – phoog
    Dec 29 '20 at 10:30
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    @phoog For those taking up residence that scenario is true, but for those that are allready here and only visiting the clock starts on the first of January since the FoM has ended. This unofficial site meantions this: Brexit: when will the 90/180 day rule start?, but I believe I saw it also on a eu commission site (that I can no longer find). Dec 29 '20 at 12:57
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    This question is purely around Ryanair's own quirky policy, not Schengen rules: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/53994/…
    – JonathanReez
    Dec 29 '20 at 16:46
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    Whilst factually correct, this answer doesn't at all answer the question that was asked. Airlines have never been responsible for enforcing the 90/180 day rule, and even if they were there would be no reason to implement anything to do so until at least April (~90 days into 2021)
    – Doc
    Dec 29 '20 at 18:21
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    @MarkJohnson An answer from someone who knows something about what they are talking about?
    – Relaxed
    Dec 29 '20 at 21:32

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