Holidays in Europe following Brexit deal – ultimate guide on passports, visas, insurance and driving

7 mins read


A BREXIT deal has been confirmed between the UK and the EU.

Here is everything you need to know about your holiday from January 1, including passports, visas, driving and travel insurance.

We've explained everything you need to know about your holiday to Europe next year following the Brexit deal news
We’ve explained everything you need to know about your holiday to Europe next year following the Brexit deal news

Do I need a new passport to travel to Europe?

Tourists heading to the countries in the EU will need at least six months remaining on their travel documents under the new rules.

This is likely to affect millions of passport holders.

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.

It costs £75.50 to renew a passport online and £85 if you fill out a paper form.

New passports will be the blue passports, but in-date burgundy passports with more than six months on them will not need to be renewed.

Passport renewals take up to three weeks, but with high demand expected, could be as much as eight weeks.

You will only be able to stay in an EU country for 90 days out of 180
Getty Images – Getty

You will only be able to stay in an EU country for 90 days out of 180[/caption]

Do I need to get a visa to travel to Europe?

Brits will not need to have a visa to travel to Europe even with the new deal. However, how long you can stay in an EU country will change.

You must not stay more than 90 days out of 180 days – if you need to stay longer, or you are planning to work or study there then you will need to apply for a visa.

You may also 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.

What are the new driving rules in Europe?

Drivers with their own cars will 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.

The government also advises having a GB sticker on your car, even if you also have a GB symbol on your number plate, as well as apply online for a V5C logbook.

However you won’t need to take a new driving test to be able to drive around Europe as a holidaymaker.

Brexit negotiations began in 2016
Brexit negotiations began in 2016
The UK has left the EU after four years of negotiations
The UK has left the EU after four years of negotiations

Can I still use my European Health Insurance Card (EHICs)?

European Health Insurance Cards give Brits free state-provided medical treatment in EU and European countries.

The card covers pre-existing medical conditions as well as emergency care, although it is always advised to have travel insurance as well to cover additional procedures.

These will no longer be valid in Europe from January 1 for the majority of holidaymakers.

Some people can get a new UK-issued EHIC which will remain valid for visits that begin from 1 January 2021.

You’ll be able to apply if you’re:

  • receiving a UK State Pension or some other ‘exportable benefits’ and living in the EU before the end of 2020
  • a ‘frontier worker’ (someone who works in one state and lives in another) before the end of 2020, for as long as you continue to be a frontier worker in the host state
  • an EU national living in the UK before the end of 2020
  • a dependant of one of the above
  • A student studying in the EUIF you receive are an EU national living in the UK before the end of 2020

Can I still use mobile roaming for free on my phone?

From January 1, 2021, the guarantee of free mobile roaming officially ends.

However, the majority of phone network providers have said that they will not bring back roaming charges if abroad, although this will depend on agreements.

EE, O2, Vodafone and Three have all confirmed they have no plans to bring back mobile roaming fees after Brexit.

A new law also means that you’re still protected from getting mobile data charges above £45 without you knowing.

 


Can I still take my pet to Europe?

While you can still take your pet on holiday with you, which includes dogs, cats or ferrets, you will need to apply for an animal health certificate (AHC) instead of a pet passport.

To get this, owners will need to make sure their pets are microchipped, vaccinated against rabies and are over 12 weeks old.

You must wait 21 days after the vaccination before travelling with them.

If travelling to Finland, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway or Malta, it must also have treatment against tapeworm, one to five days before travel.

Owners can then get the AHC from their vet, no more than 10 days before travelling to the EU.

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