Travel Advice

Be Prepared for Post-Brexit International Travel

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Brexit and Travel to Europe

After officially leaving the European Union on 31 January 2020, the UK’s transition arrangements have now expired, leading to some changes to travel and holidays within Europe. Although no significant impact is expected, the differences are more than just that UK passports have become blue…

Passports and Visas

All British citizens must carry a full 10 year British passport valid for 6 months after the end of your holiday when visiting EU countries. All infants and children must also have their own passport. A visa should not be required for typical holiday periods.

Also check your passport is within 9 years and 6 months of its issued date. Some passports issued before September 2018 could have more than the maximum validity period but this may no longer be valid.

If any members of your party need to renew or obtain a passport, we recommend you apply at least 12 weeks before your holiday. See or call the UK Passport Office on 0300 222 0000 for advice and information. Citizens of other countries should check with the relevant authorities for passport and visa requirements.

UK citizens will no longer be able to use the EU or EEA lanes at passport control in airports or ports. Use only the ‘All Passports’ lanes.

Health Cards

In addition to taking out travel insurance for all members of your party we strongly recommend you carry a valid EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) or GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card) which will provide access to public healthcare systems in the EU and Switzerland. Check whether your EHIC’s 5 year validity has expired… if so, you’ll need to apply for a GHIC.

Driving in Europe

British photocard driving licenses remain valid for use in EU countries, but if you hold a paper license or a license issued in the Channel Islands or Isle of Man, you’ll need an additional International Driving Permit, which can be obtained from main Post Offices.

If driving you’re own car in Europe, you’ll need a ‘green card’ from your car insurance provider to validate your insurance in Europe. This is a physical card. Apply to your insurer at least a month before you travel.

Travelling with Pets

Each pet will need an Animal Health Certificate to confirm micro-chipping and appropriate vaccinations (including rabies). Talk to your vet well in advance and read more government advice on taking your pet abroad.

And Don’t get Caught Out…

  • Give yourself extra time at airports and ports, especially with additional Covid checks. Ports, ferry and tunnel terminals may also be busier due to increased checks on freight and commercial transport.
  • Don’t take meat or milk related products into Europe … even in the food you pack for the journey (baby-milk excluded).
  • Check with your mobile phone provider about roaming charges for phone and data use, as the European-wide agreements for these are no longer valid.
  • Remember that duty-free limits are back in place for alcohol and tobacco products, etc.

UK Foreign Office Travel Alerts

The Foreign & Commonwealth Travel Advice Unit produce regular updates to help British travellers when travelling abroad.

Visit the FCO Travel Aware website for up to date advice on health, safety, security and local laws for your destination.

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