Visit Europe from 1 Jan 2021 (UK Brexit)

The UK exits the EU and EFTA on Friday.

The transition period ends 31st December 2020.

The UK has now issued instructions on Travel to Europe after 1st January 2021 – here.

Travel to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein will change (for UK nationals and persons travelling on a UK passport) from 1st January 2021.

(1) passports – on the day of travel, the UK passport must :

* have at least 6 months left, and

* be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)

[not Ireland – passports need only be valid for the duration of stay in Ireland]

(2) EHIC – from 1 January 2021 the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) card might not be valid (this is not confirmed either way yet). The recommendation is private health insurance.

(3) Driving – extra documents will be required from 1 January 2021 –

* a specific international driving permit (IDP) [not Ireland, and check the country list linked in the instructions].

* a ‘green card’ from the vehicle insurance company

* GB sticker [not enforced in Ireland, this is not mentioned in the UK instructions, but is confirmed by Ireland, and particularly relevant for travellers from Northern Ireland]

(4) Flights, ferries, cruises, Eurostar and Eurotunnel, bus and coach services

From 1 January 2021, the following will run as before:

* flights

* ferries and cruises

* the Eurostar and Eurotunnel

* bus and coach services between the UK and the EU

If flying:

* airport security procedures will not change for direct flights to and from the UK

* there should not be delays at airport security for flight changes in EU airports

(5) Duty free, goods and cash restrictions – check the instructions – not Ireland

(6) Travel disruption compensation – the instructions advise checking the booking conditions

(7) Visas – not needed for tourist trips if the stay is less than 90 days in 180 days.

[tourist visas will not be needed for trips to Ireland]

Business visas may be required – further information is expected.

[business visas will not be required for trips to Ireland]

(8) Border Control – at border control, the following may be required –

* to show a return or onward ticket

* to prove sufficient money for the stay

* to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing

[not Ireland]

(9) Mobile Phone Roaming – from 1 January 2021, the guarantee of free mobile phone roaming throughout the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will end.

A UK law means the subscriber is protected from getting mobile data charges above £45 without notification. Once £45 is reached, an opt in will be required to spend more to continue using the internet whilst abroad.

(10) Business Services and Business Goods – a customs declaration and a business visa may be required, including possibly to attend meetings [not Ireland]. Further information is expected.

The UK instructions list other aspects and links.

[the principals of Cardinal Environment Limited are dual UK/EU nationals]

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