Travelling after BREXIT
2020 is going to be a year that we will remember for the rest of our lives, however with the countdown to the end of the year we also face changes as a consequence of BREXIT (from 1st January 2021). So please read on to access some top tips for the new rules to travel to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein from 1st January 2021.
If you are a client of Travel Producer we will already be talking to you about the specifics that may affect your booking.
If you’re travelling to the EU from 1st January 2021, you will need to ensure that your current passport will have at least 6 months validity, remaining from the return date, and be less than 10 years old. If this does not apply you need to re-new your passport. You may be refused entry if this is not in place. You can still travel on the burgundy ‘European’ passport as long as there is enough time left on it .
To make matters slightly more complicated you may need to renew your passport earlier than you think, as it must be less than 10 years old. The reason for this is that when some UK passports were renewed 9-10 years ago, they were given an additional 9 months validity. From 1st January 2021, this additional 9 months will not be recognised.
These rules do not apply to travel to Ireland. You can continue to use your passport as long as it’s valid for the length of your stay. Check the detailed requirements for different countries.
Once at the border control you may need to
- show a return or onward ticket
- show you have enough money for your stay
- use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing
Will I need a VISA to travel into the EU?
If you’re a tourist, you will not need a visa for short trips to EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. You’ll be able to stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
Brussels has said that British visitors will be visa-exempt 'third-country nationals' initially, which means that there’s no need for an application in advance. But within a couple of years, British citizens will be subject to the new European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), which the EU is working to impose no later than 2022.
At The Airport
You will no longer be able to use EU fast-track passport control and customs lanes.
Health Care and Travel Insurance
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will no longer be valid if you are travelling on or after 01st January, 2021.
Please ensure that you have appropriate travel insurance, for every time you travel overseas. Insurance must accurately cover your current circumstances, including any medical conditions. If you already have an insurance in place please contact your provider for their updated terms and conditions. Your consumer rights will not change from 1 January 2021. This means that if your travel is cancelled or delayed you may be able to claim a refund or compensation
If you require insurance then please give us a call.
There are a couple of exceptions for the continued use of EHIC cards.
- If you are a UK state pensioner living in the EU before the end of 2020, but you must apply for a new card.
- EHIC is also valid for students, who started a course in the EU before the end of 2020, until their course finishes. Again they will need to apply for new cards.
If I want to drive to EU countries, will I need to get another driving licence?
From 01st January you will still need to carry your UK driving licence with you. You may also require an International Driving Permits, the type of permit you require will depend on the country you are driving in/through.
You can purchase an IDP over the counter from the Post Office at a cost of £5.50 per licence.
If you are taking your own car onto the Continent then you are required to hold a ‘green card’ that is proof of motor insurance. If you are towing a trailer or caravan you will need separate green cards.
We recommend that you contact your insurance company at least 6 weeks prior to travel to make the necessary arrangements and to receive the documents in plenty of time.
GB car stickers
You will need to apply a GB sticker to the rear of your vehicle even if you have a number plate with the EU symbol.
Mobile Data Roaming?
The current guarantee of free roaming throughout the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway ends on 31st December, 2020. Please check with your mobile phone company, before travelling, to ensure you are aware on any charges that you may incur.
A new law means that you’re protected from getting mobile data charges above £45 without you knowing. Once you reach £45, you need to opt in to spend more so that you can continue using the internet while you’re abroad. Your mobile phone company will tell how you can do this.
Travelling with Pets
Unfortunately you will not be able to travel with your pet from 1st January 2021 on the current pet passport scheme. Instead you’ll need to follow a different process, which takes 4 months to complete. Please ensure that you speak with your veterinarian surgery at least 4 months before departure to discuss the necessary procedures for the country you are travelling to.
For the full guidance on pet travel to Europe from 1st January 2021, please read here
If you are travelling from Great Britain into the EU from 1stJanuary 2021, you can take advantage of duty-free shopping though there will no longer be tax-free airport sales of goods such as electronics clothes. Current duty-free limits will increase in the new year.