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August 13 2019
With the Brexit extension to 31st October 2019, this is our synopsis of what you need to know about travelling abroad for the foreseeable future. And the good news? Hopefully there’s nothing to be concerned about!
Published: August 13 2019
We know from speaking to clients that there is some concern for how travel arrangements might be affected by the on-going Brexit situation, as well as the extension to 31st October 2019. Having checked with ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents), the Brexit extension has provided absolute certainty that all current arrangements for travel will remain as they are today, which includes the following:
If the Government agrees a deal on or before that date, the UK will then enter a transition period and everything will continue to remain the same and you can continue to travel as you do now. There is still a possibility that the UK could leave the EU at the end of October without a deal. There have been reassurances around flights and visas but travellers may wish to take some action in advance to help avoid unnecessary future disruption in the event of a no-deal scenario.
UK citizens can be reassured that regardless of the Brexit outcome, planes will still fly between the UK and the EU: if a deal is agreed then we will be in a transition period, meaning everything will stay the same until the end of December 2020 and flights will continue as normal. Even if we are in a no-deal scenario, the European Commission has said that UK airlines will still be able to operate flights between the UK and the EU. The UK government has offered similar assurances for EU airlines.
The European Parliament has confirmed that UK travellers won’t need a visa to travel the EU after Brexit, even if the UK leaves without a deal. UK citizens will be able to visit the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa.
It is important that whenever and wherever you travel that you have adequate travel insurance which covers your specific needs, including any known medical conditions or activities you plan to do. It is also worth checking the detail of the policy around travel disruption including delays or cancellations as policies do vary.
Check the date your passport expires. If we leave the EU without a deal, the UK government recommends that you have six months left on your passport on the date of your arrival in an EU country. You should also check when your passport was renewed. If you renewed a 10-year adult passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months over 10 years will not count towards the 6 months that must be remaining.
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows any EU citizen to access state medical care when they are travelling in another EU country. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, UK registered EHICs will no longer be valid. ABTA has always advised holidaymakers and business travellers to make sure they have appropriate travel insurance, whether they have an EHIC card or not, as there are limitations to EHIC.
When travelling in the EU and beyond, it is important you take out travel insurance and check that it covers your current circumstances, including any medical conditions. If you have an annual policy, make sure you check the Terms and Conditions and contact your insurance provider if you’re not sure.
As long as you have a full UK driving licence, you don’t currently need an additional licence to drive in the EU. This is likely to change in a no-deal scenario. UK travellers looking to drive in the EU on or after 31 October 2019 may need to apply for an International Driving Permit.
Whether you need an International Driving Permit or not will depend on where you are travelling to and for how long. There are a number of different permits available for different areas of the EU, so you should check carefully which permit is required for each country you intend to drive within, as you may need more than one permit to comply with the law.
International Driving Permits cost £5.50 and are available directly from the Post Office. Full details about International Driving Permits, including what permit you need for each country can be found at gov.uk
In the event of a no-deal, pets would continue to be able to travel from the UK to the EU, but the requirements for documents and health checks would change. If you wish to take your pet to the EU on or after 31 October 2019 pet owners would need to discuss preparations for their pet’s travel with an Official Veterinarian at least four months in advance of the date they wish to travel. Pet owners should keep an eye out for any further instructions issued by the UK Government. The Government is also advising that you will need a GB sticker for your car when driving in the EU after Brexit.
Under EU rules, the cost of making calls, sending messages or using the internet on your phone in the EU is the same in the UK. If the UK leaves without a deal these rules will no longer apply – however, some UK companies have said they may continue to offer this benefit to their customers. Before you travel, check with your mobile phone provider about the costs of using your phone in the EU.
The above is accurate as at 13th August 2019. Please watch this space for updates and always check the information yourself before travelling.
Visit the Government’s website too for up-to-date information for travellers at gov.uk/EUexit
Hanna joined Go Bespoke in February 2018 and has over 15 years’ experience working in Marketing & PR. She studied Modern Languages at University, and lived in Granada in Spain before working for a city-based tour operator and then at Orient Express. Hanna is our resident Spanish speaker, and also speaks French and a bit of Portuguese. She looks after all our social media and marketing collateral, including the website and anything visual that you might see!
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