Can we travel to Europe after Brexit?

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The UK has left the European Union. Whether a deal is agreed or not, from December 31, 2020, many rules will change from 2021 and this means for travel too. If you’re planning on visiting EU countries such as France or Spain, along with Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, you may need to follow new restrictions. Thankfully is on hand with a full break down of what you need to know about travelling to Europe after Brexit.

Can we travel to Europe after Brexit?

Yes, in simple terms you can still visit European countries after Brexit.

Just because the UK has left the Brussels bloc doesn’t mean it’s citizens will be banned from holidaying on the continent.

Whether you were hoping for some sun and sangria in Spain, or shopping on the Champs-Élysées, you’ll still be able to enjoy your holiday to the full.

However, there are some checks you’ll need to carry out first.

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Before you go, you should:

  • check your passport
  • get travel insurance that covers your healthcare
  • check you have the right driving documents
  • organise pet travel 

If you’re travelling for business, there are some extra actions to take.

It’s important to check the country’s entry requirements or whether they will ask you for specific documents.

You should also make sure your UK qualifications will be recognised in the EU for some services, such as legal work.

And you might also need to tell HMRC you’ll be working in the EU. You can find the full restrictions for working in the EU after Brexit here. 

Your passport

If you’re travelling from January 1, 2021, your passport will need to have at least six months left and be less than 10 years old.

This may mean you’ll need to review your passport if the above criteria are not met.

If you don’t renew and travel anyway, you could be banned from travelling to most EU countries.

Gov.UK says: “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.”

Your travel insurance

Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will be valid up to December 31, 2020.

From this point, you will not be covered by your EHIC card.

Instead, you should take out appropriate travel insurance with health cover in case you fall ill while in another country.

This is especially important if you have a pre-existing condition as your EHic previously covered this, but many travel insurance policies do not.

Your visa

At border control you may need to show a return or onward ticket, along with proving you have enough money for your stay.

You will not be required to have a European via, however, as you can travel to the eU and stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

Different rules will apply to Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania, however.

If you plan to stay longer than the 90-day period, you may need to apply for a visa.

Travel to Ireland will not change.

Your mobile

When travelling to Europe in the past, you’ll likely have enjoyed tariff free roaming.

But this agreement may end on January 1, meaning you could be charged for using your data or making calls when abroad.

Check with your phone operator to find out about its roaming charges.

Your phone company must inform you if you rack up bills of more than £45 under a new law.

Your driving license

While taking a booze cruise across the channel used to be a popular pastime for Brits, this could all change in the New Year.

You may need to bring extra documents with you if you wish to drive on the continent from January 1.

If you’re taking your own vehicle, you will need a green card to prove you have the minimum insurance cover required, along with a GB sticker.

Contact your insurer to get a green card for your vehicle.

If your driving licence was issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man you may need an international driving permit (IDP).

Your pets

Gov.UK says: “From January 1, 2021 you will not be able to 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.”

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