BRITS heading on a European holiday from January 1, 2021, will face a number of changes to the way they usually travel due to Brexit.
Thanks the UK leaving the EU Customs Union and Single Market, there's new advice around everything from passports and visas to EHIC and driving licences.
While the transition period is currently in place until December 31, a number of changes are expected next year with the government launching a huge £93million publicity blitz to get the UK ready for Brexit.
Can I book my holiday as normal?
You can still book holidays until the end of the year without any Brexit changes taking place – flights, ferries, cruises, Eurostar, Eurotunnel, and bus and coach services are not yet affected by the UK leaving the EU.
Holidays will still go ahead as usual in 2021 as well, but may require additional travel documents and rules to follow.
Do I need to renew my passport before I travel
Brits do not have to renew their passport before travelling to Europe in 2020, as long as it remains in date.
From January 1, 2021, the transition period will finish, which means new passport rules will apply, and tourists heading to EU countries will need at least six months remaining on their travel documents.
Passports must also be no more than 9.5 years old as part of the new rules.
Brits have previously been able to travel freely in EU member states and the Schengen area with a valid passport, regardless of how close it is to its expiry date.
Brits are being urged to check their passports, with many expected to have expired during lockdown and renewals taking much longer than usual.
The change in rules is expected to trigger a last minute dash to renew passport applications ahead of the looming deadline.
It costs £75.50 to renew a passport online and £85 if you fill out a paper form.
Some travellers applying online have been told they face a two-month wait to see their passports renewed – putting New Year trips in jeopardy.
Do I need to get a visa to travel to Europe?
As now, most Brit holidaymakers won't need to get a visa to visit Europe during the transition period – as long as you don't stay for more than 90 days in a 180-day period.
If you're looking to stay in Europe for longer than the 90 days, or are planning to work or study there, you may need to get a visa.
The requirements in this case will depend on which country you're planning to stay in.
After the transition period, you may need to show proof that you have a return or onward ticket, and that you have enough money to cover the cost of your trip.
Experts have warned that, even with valid passports that do't require visas, Brits could face delays at the border as they will have to queue with other non-EU nationals.
What if I'm planning to drive in Europe?
Drivers with their own cars are expected to need to have an insurance "green card" as proof that they have the right cover, as well as International Drivers Permits depending on the country.
These cost around £5.50, with three different varieties – 1949 and 1968, common across Europe, and 1926.
Can I still use mobile roaming on my phone?
From January 1, 2021, the guarantee of free mobile roaming will officially end.
Whether or not mobile phone companies hike up prices as a result will depend on who you have your contract with.
In 2021, mobile companies will be allowed to introduce charges if they want to, although it'll largely depend on what commercial arrangements they have with suppliers overseas.
EE is one of the providers who confirmed it has no plans to bring back mobile roaming fees after Brexit.
Can I still use the European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs)?
European Health Insurance Cards give Brits state-provided medical treatment in EU and European countries that recognise it, and you can get one for free.
It entitles you to free medical treatment abroad if their citizens get free treatment, but you'll have to pay if they do.
The card covers pre-existing medical conditions as well as emergency care, and some travel insurers will insist that you carry it with you on a trip to Europe.
The Government has warned that it might not be valid after the transition period, but you should get the appropriate travel insurance even if you can use the EHIC.
This is because travel insurance will cover you for other incidents, including delays and missing luggage.
Source: Read Full Article