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Brexit: advice for travellers Back to News
Thursday 28th February | Posted by Heather Bamber
At the time of writing, much is still unknown about the details of Brexit, and we will continue to monitor developments. However, please rest assured that all our holidays will still be available to walkers resident inside or outside the EU, and we will honour any prices agreed for your holiday.
A hard Brexit will mainly affect UK citizens, though there is a knock-on effect to other citizens in respect of flights. Regardless of the Brexit outcome, planes will still fly between the UK and the EU. If a deal is agreed, everything will stay the same until the end of December 2020 and flights will continue as normal. Even 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. However, there may be delays at check in and passport control, so anyone flying to Europe from a UK airport should check in at least two and a half hours before flight time, at least in the early stages.
UK citizens read on:
Below is a brief summary of the other areas where changes are likely to affect UK citizens travelling to the EU. We recommend that you read carefully the more detailed advice provided on the UK Government website here. Advice is also supplied by ABTA here. NB: the following applies particularly to UK citizens – other nationalities with questions about travelling in the EU should consult the nearest embassy or consulate of the country they intend to visit. It is possible that for EU citizens visiting the UK, some of the following will also apply.
Check as soon as possible the date that your passport expires. When travelling to the EU after 29 March 2019, 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 UK Government has published a website tool to check the validity of your passport under these rules.
Note that UK nationals will not have an ongoing right to use the express lanes at border controls provided for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals.
If the UK leaves with a deal, travel to the EU will remain the same as now until at least 31 December 2020. You will not need to apply for a visa to travel in the EU during this time.
If the UK leaves without a deal, the rules will change after 29 March 2019. It is likely that UK citizens will not need a visa for stays in the Schengen area or elsewhere in the EU of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. On arrival, you may be asked to confirm that you have sufficient funds available for the duration of your stay, and you may be asked to show a return or onward ticket.
The European Commission has said that from 2021 UK citizens will need to pay a fee (of around 7 Euros) for this visa exemption. This is part of a new electronic travel authorisation system applying to all third country visitors to the EU, similar to the ESTA regime in the USA.
You should continue to take out appropriate travel insurance (including health cover) before travelling. In the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, UK registered EHICs (European Health Insurance Cards) may no longer be valid, meaning that UK citizens would no longer be entitled to free or discounted health care in the EU.
If you intend to drive in the EU after exit, you may need a green card from your insurer. You may also need an International Driving Permit.
Under EU rules, the cost of making calls, sending messages or using the internet on your phone in the EU is the same as 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. Please note that On Foot’s GPS tracks can be used on a mobile phone whilst it is in flight mode – once you have done the initial upload via wifi, no data roaming charges need be incurred to follow our tracks.
Travelling with a pet:
In the event of ‘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. You should contact your vet four months before taking your pet to the EU.
Page updated: 28 February 2019