With Brexit negotiations going down to the wire, British holidaymakers have many unanswered questions about what happens on 1st January. Here's what we know so far:
Can I visit Europe on the 1st of January 2021?
Believe it or not, we still don't know. To combat the spread of COVID-19 the European Union has a joint strategy of not allowing any travellers to enter the EU, unless for specific purposes such as returning home or to study. Going on holiday, unsurprisingly, isn't a valid reason for most countries. Leisure travel is still allowed to and from some countries outside the EU which have low COVID-19 cases, such as Turkey.
Britain has been in a transitional phase with the EU since January 2020. During this time, Britain was treated as a member of the EU, so people could move around the union freely. This comes to an end on 31stDecember. In the event of no further agreement, British holidaymakers may be banned from entering the EU in 2021.
However, there's still a chance that an agreement will be reached between the EU and Britain. In the event of a hard BREXIT, individual EU countries will have the right to allow British holidaymakers to visit.
Travellers should be wary of committing to hotel and flight bookings which can't be cancelled or rearranged for another time. During this unsettling time, with BREXIT and COVID-19, travellers need all the flexibility possible.
Will I need a new passport?
To visit Europe, you'll need to have a minimum of six months validity and your passport will need to be a maximum of ten years old. Failure to meet both of these requirements may result in denied entry to EU countries, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland
The UK government has a webpage which will help you check if you need to update your passport, which can be found here.
Can I still take my pet?
Yes – but it could be a lengthy process. The UK and EU have not yet reached an agreement on pet travel after Brexit. The government is recommending pet owners to prepare for the worst-case scenario, unlisted status, which will cause the EU pet passport to become invalid. More information can be found here.
Will using my mobile phone cost me more?
Technically, it could. Roaming charges were abolished by EU law in 2017, which after BREXIT would no longer apply. However, Three, EE, O2 and Vodafone have all said they have no immediate plans to change their tariffs. That's not to say they won't in the future so make sure you do your homework before running up a large mobile phone bill.
Is my EHIC card valid?
The European Health Insurance Card offers British tourists access to healthcare within Europe until 31stDecember 2020. As of 1st January, Britain is no longer part of the EU and therefore this scheme will come to an end.
Travellers to Europe should carry good quality travel insurance which includes cancellation cover for COVID-19 and is valid whilst travelling against FCO advice. Here at PayingTooMuch.com, we can provide all this cover and much more. Get a free quote online, or give our team a call on 01243 964672.