It seems Her Majesty’s Government has outlined how travel to Europe is going to work for UK Citizens from the 1st January 2021.
And it’s going to involve more paperwork and higher costs.
Let’s start with the obvious and work downwards.
You will need to ensure your passport is valid for travel.
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)
Failure to renew will mean you cannot travel to most EU Countries, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. For those travelling to Ireland, you can continue to use your passport as long as it’s valid for the length of your stay.
For those of you used to completing just a European Health Insurance Card when going to Europe, this will no longer be valid from the 1st January 2021. Instead, you will need appropriate travel insurance that covers pre-existing conditions.
And you can bet travel insurance will shoot up because of it.
Entering other countries
Tourists can enter the EU and EEA countries for a maximum of 90 days in 180 days. Visa’s or permits may be required for you to stay longer, to work or study, or travel for business.
When you arrive at an EU border, you may be requested to show a return or onward ticket, have enough money for your stay.
And… you’ll need to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing to be processed into the EU. Expect entry to take longer than it does now unless some countries feel generous.
Mobile phone roaming
Remember that wonderful thing of not being worried about mobile phone roaming in the EU? Well, the guarantee of free mobile phone roaming throughout the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will end.
You’ll be at the mercy of your operator how they intend to charge for roaming charges (such as voice, text and internet connectivity).
If you drive, some countries will require an international driving permit. You will also need to provide and carry a valid proof of insurance and GB sticker on your car.
If you want to take your pet aboard, the current pet passport scheme will come to an end. The new process takes around four months to process – the full details are here.
Welcome back to paperwork and higher costs
With the UK exiting the EU and the transition arrangements ending, it seems that the cost of travel will go up – like it or not. Be t from travelling on a short-life passport, ensuring you have the correct insurance, wanting to be connected on the road, or ensuring you have the correct documentation to be on the road.
But it seems Her Majesties Government has pinned its hopes on the future being away from Europe.
But at least…
We will have blue passports when we travel. Or something like that.
— Monty Python (@montypython) April 1, 2018
The full guidance is at https://www.gov.uk/visit-europe-1-january-2021 and is worth a long read. Those who are travelling for business will need to meet extra requirements, listed at https://www.gov.uk/visit-europe-1-january-2021/business-travel-extra-requirements
Least of all – like or not – travel is about to change for British Citizens entering Europe.
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