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Visiting Europe from 1st January 2021

Visiting Europe after Brexit from 1st January 2021

Visiting Europe Visiting Europe after Brexit,  Page updated January 2021 

Countries in the EU and EEA

The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 countries. It operates an internal (or single) market which allows free movement of goods, capital, services and people between member states.

EU countries

The EU countries are:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

The European Economic Area (EEA)

The EEA includes EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. It allows them to be part of the EU’s single market.

Switzerland is not an EU or EEA member but is part of the single market. This means Swiss nationals have the same rights to live and work in the UK as other EEA nationals.

Visiting Europe after Brexit

This page tells you how to prepare if you’re planning on travelling to Europe from 1 January 2021. It will be updated if anything changes.

Travel to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein will change from 1 January 2021.

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Things you may need to do before you go include:

check your passport

get travel insurance that covers your healthcare

check you have the right driving documents

organise pet travel - contact your vet at least 4 months before you go

There are more things to do if you’re travelling for business. For example, going to meetings and conferences, providing services (even with a charity), and touring art or music.

Passports: check if you need to renew

You may need to renew your British passport earlier if you’re Visiting Europe after Brexit.

On the day you travel, you’ll need your passport to both:

have at least 6 months left

be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)

If you do not renew your passport, you may not be able to travel to most EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

You can check whether your passport is valid for the country you’re visiting.

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.

Healthcare: check you’re covered

 

Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) will be valid if you’re travelling to an EU country.

You can use a UK passport to get medically necessary healthcare in Norway (for example emergency treatment, or to treat a pre-existing condition).

If you’re travelling to Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, you should get appropriate travel insurance with healthcare cover before you travel. Make sure it covers any pre-existing conditions that were previously covered by your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

You can read advice on buying travel insurance with the right cover.

UK-issued EHICs after 1 January 2021

Some people can apply for a new UK EHIC that they can continue to use from 1 January 2021 in the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. People who can apply for the new card include:

  • UK students studying in the EU
  • some British State Pensioners who live in the EU and their families
  • EU nationals in the UK

Find out more about the new UK EHIC.

Entering other countries

Border control: you may have to show your return ticket and money

At border control, you may need to:

show a return or onward ticket

show you have enough money for your stay

use separate lanes from EUEEA and Swiss citizens when queueing

Visas for short trips: you will not need one if you’re a tourist

If you’re a tourist, you will not need a visa for short trips to most EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. You’ll be able to stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

Different rules will apply to Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania. If you visit these countries, visits to other EU countries will not count towards the 90-day total.

You may need a visa or permit to stay for longer, to work or study, or for business travel.

Check each country’s travel advice page for information on how to get a visa or permit.

Travel to Ireland will not change from 1 January 2021. You’ll also be able to work in Ireland in the same way as before.

Travel

There may be changes from 1 January 2021. What these are depend on how you’re travelling.

However you travel, check before you leave for any delays or disruption.

Taking food and drink into EU countries

You are not able to take meat, milk or products containing them into EU countries.

There are some exceptions, for example certain amounts of powdered infant milk, infant food, or pet food required for medical reasons. Check the rules about taking food and drink into the EU on the European Commission website.

Taking plants and plant products into EU countries

You’ll need a certificate to take certain plants and plant products into EU countries. Check the rules about taking plants and plant products into the EU on the European Commission website.

Driving while Visiting Europe after Brexit

If you’re taking your own vehicle, you will need a green card and a GB sticker.

You might also need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in some EU countries and Norway if you have:

  • a paper driving licence
  • a licence issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man

Check with the embassy of the country you will be driving in.

Pet travel: allow at least 1 month to arrange

You cannot use the existing pet passport scheme. Instead you’ll need an animal health certificate (AHC) for your pet. Allow at least 1 month to arrange this and relevant vaccinations.

Follow the guidance for taking your pet dog, cat or ferret abroad.

Compensation if your travel is disrupted

Some travel insurance policies only cover certain types of disruption. Check your provider’s terms and conditions to make sure you have the cover you need if your travel is cancelled or delayed.

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. Check your booking’s terms and conditions to find out more.

Pet travel: allow at least 4 months to arrange

From 1 January 2021 you will not be able to use the existing pet passport scheme. Instead you’ll need to follow a different process, which takes 4 months.

Follow the guidance about pet travel to Europe from 1 January 2021.

Mobile roaming: free roaming may end

From 1 January 2021, the guarantee of free mobile phone roaming throughout the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will end.

Check with your phone operator to find out about any roaming charges you might get from 1 January 2021.

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 phone operator will tell how you can do this.

If your travel company goes out of business

You’re protected if you buy a package holiday and the company goes out of business. You get this cover even if it’s an EU company, as long as the company targets UK customers.

Otherwise, you can claim compensation if you used your credit card. You’ll continue to be able to claim for payments between £100 and £30,000.

Other changes from 1 January 2021

If you’re a business:

you may need to make a customs declaration if you take goods with you to sell abroad or use for business

find out what else you need to do to prepare your business during the transition period

Travel to Ireland will not change from 1 January 2021. You’ll also be able to work in Ireland in the same way as before

Border control: you may have to show your return ticket and money

At border control, you may need to:

show a return or onward ticket

show you have enough money for your stay

use separate lanes from EUEEA and Swiss citizens when queueing

Other changes from 1 January 2021

You’ll need to declare cash of £10,000 or more (or the equivalent in another currency) if you take it between the UK and any other country.

If you’re a business:

you may need to make a customs declaration if you take goods with you to sell abroad or use for business

find out what else you need to do to prepare your business during the transition period

The above information has been provided by the UK.GOV and is correct at the time of publishing.

 For more assistance on Visiting Europe after Brexit join our Facebook Group and Like our Facebook page

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