There’s less than six months remaining of the transition period of the UK’s leaving the EU and, as yet, there is no firm agreement regarding our future relationship with Europe following Brexit and what any future travel arrangements might be.
This month (July 2020) should see talks intensify between the UK and EU, and a new trade agreement needs to be signed by October for it to be ratified by both parliaments and come into force at the beginning of 2021.
What does this mean if you want to holiday in Europe from 1 January 2021?
For travel to EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, passports must have six months validity left and be less than 10 years old even if it has six months or more left.
As a tourist, you will not need a visa for a stay of 90 days in any 180-day period. You may need one for longer stays, business travel or if you intend to work or study abroad. Travel to and from Ireland is unchanged and your passport is valid for its life.
You will need travel insurance that covers healthcare, particularly if you have a pre-existing condition. The EHIC card, which covers pre-existing conditions, will not be valid after 31 December.
Dependent on how the negotiations go you may need an IDP (International Driving Permit) from 1 January 2021. There are two types covering different countries; you may need both if you are planning a tour. You will also need a GB sticker and a ‘green card’ or proof of insurance and a separate proof of insurance for the caravan. Make sure you are also carrying your log book (V5C).
In 2022, the necessity for an ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System), a security document that will be valid for three years, comes into force to travel to or transit through Europe.
And if you’re taking your pet abroad it gets a little more complicated with the documentation needed dependent on whether the UK becomes an unlisted, Part 1 listed or Part 2 listed country.
If the UK becomes unlisted then you must prepare four months in advance to take your pet on tour. You will need new documentation in any case that covers microchipping, rabies vaccination, health check and (for Ireland) tapeworms. For more information, see: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pet-travel-to-europe-after-brexit.
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