Saturday, May 25

Travel Advice: How Will Travel Be Affected After Brexit?

Happy tourist couple, man and woman traveling on holidays in Europe smiling happy. Caucasian couple.

In the wake of Brexit, the landscape of travel between the UK and the European Union (EU) has undergone significant transformations. Understanding these changes is essential for travelers looking to navigate the new regulations and requirements smoothly. This comprehensive guide delves into the specifics of post-Brexit travel, offering valuable insights into visas, passports, healthcare, and more to ensure a seamless travel experience.

Visa Requirements and Stays

One of the most pressing questions for travelers post-Brexit is whether they will need a visa for short stays within the EU. UK nationals can spend up to 90 days in any 180-day period in the Schengen Area without a visa for tourism or business purposes. However, for longer stays or for work and study, visas or other permits may be required, depending on the destination country’s regulations.

Passport Validity

The rules regarding passport validity have changed. UK passports must now be less than 10 years old on the day of entering an EU country and valid for at least three months after the planned departure date from the Schengen Area. Travelers should ensure their passports meet these criteria to avoid any travel disruptions.

Healthcare Coverage

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and its successor, the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), offer UK residents access to necessary healthcare in EU countries on the same terms as locals. However, it’s strongly advised to also have comprehensive travel insurance, as these cards may not cover all health-related expenses or repatriation.

Driving in the EU

For those planning to drive in the EU, there are new considerations to keep in mind. While a UK driving license is still valid, an International Driving Permit (IDP) may be required in some countries. Furthermore, a ‘green card’ is needed to prove that your vehicle insurance provides the minimum coverage required within the EU.

Mobile Roaming Charges

One of the conveniences lost due to Brexit is the guarantee of free mobile roaming throughout the EU. Although some UK mobile operators have pledged to continue offering this benefit, it is not guaranteed. Travelers should check their mobile plan and consider alternative solutions, such as local SIM cards or roaming packages, to avoid unexpected charges.

Customs and Duty-Free Shopping

Brexit has also altered the rules around duty-free shopping and bringing goods across UK-EU borders. Travelers can now benefit from duty-free purchases when traveling from the UK to EU countries. However, there are limits on the quantity and value of goods that can be brought back into the UK without paying duty. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these limits to avoid penalties.

Traveling with Pets

The Pet Passport scheme is no longer valid for UK residents wishing to travel with their pets to the EU. Instead, pet owners must obtain an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) for their pet no more than 10 days before travel. This certificate, along with vaccinations and treatments, ensures that pets meet the entry requirements of the destination country.

Impact on Air Travel and Delays

While air travel between the UK and the EU continues, passengers may experience longer wait times at borders due to additional checks. It’s advisable to arrive at airports earlier than usual to accommodate these potential delays.

Conclusion

The post-Brexit era has ushered in a range of changes for travelers between the UK and the EU. By staying informed about visa requirements, passport validity, healthcare, driving regulations, mobile charges, customs procedures, and pet travel, UK nationals can ensure a smooth and enjoyable travel experience. Preparation and awareness are key to navigating the complexities of travel in the post-Brexit landscape.