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How has Brexit changed EU travel?

The UK’s new relationship with the EU

Articles > Travel Advice Hub > How has Brexit changed EU travel?

Last Updated: Monday 9th August
Update to Data Roaming section


The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020 and continued to follow EU rules until 31 December 2020.

It’s important to remember that most EU laws in place before we left the Union have been transferred into British law. Therefore, many of the protections and regulations regarding travel remain in place. Some laws are like maritime and air travel are protected under international law, so they also remain the same.

It is also worth noting that Alan Rogers Travel is ABTA and ATOL protected. This means you have the benefit of ABTA’s assistance and Code of Conduct. All the package and Flight-Plus holidays we sell are covered by a scheme protecting your money if the suppliers fail.

You can still travel between the UK and the EU, but the rules have changed, and you may need additional documentation. It is worth familiarising yourself with the new procedures that have been put in place so that your holiday runs as smoothly as possible.

What does this guide cover?

We’ve included information about areas which we have been kept updated on through the UK Government and our partners. Areas which we are still unsure about are not included.

Passports
Visas

European Health Insurance Card & Travel Insurance

Driving Licences

Taking Pets Abroad

Data Roaming

Package Travel Regulations

Consumer Rights

Overseas Visitors

Food and Animal Products

Transport

Passports

What's changed?

  • Your passport will need to be valid for the length of your stay, have at least six months of validity left and be less than 10 years old. 
  • There are currently three different designs of British passport; the old burgundy 'EUROPEAN UNION' passport, the transition burgundy passport and the new blue passport. All of these designs are valid.
  • If you renew your passport, you will receive a new-style blue passport.
  • You can no longer use the EU/EEA/Switzerland fast-track lanes at passport control at airports and other transport terminals. You should use the other lanes or e-gates where available.

Visas

What's changed?

  • You won't need a visa to visit the EU for short visits. UK citizens will be able to visit the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa. Multiple holidays within this period will count towards your 90 days.
  • From late 2022 unless plans change, you will need to apply for an ETIAS Visa Waiver to travel to Schengen member countries. ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorisation System. It is a new system being implemented by the European Commission to strengthen the Union’s borders. All countries that do not currently need a visa to travel to Europe will need to apply for the waiver.
    It will cost 7€ (about £6) and will work similarly to the US Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA). Those granted entry through the ETIAS would be allowed to enter and leave the Schengen area multiple times over a three-year period.

EHIC

What's changed?

  • The European Health Insurance Card scheme is no longer valid. 
  • If you are a British state pensioner residing in the EU or an EU national living in the UK, you can still apply for an EHIC.
  • For UK nationals residing in the UK, a replacement scheme has been launched called GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card). It covers "necessary healthcare" from state services when you're visiting an EU country. You can apply at gov.uk.

We recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance that covers your medical needs. Don’t purely rely on an EHIC or GHIC.

Driving abroad

What's changed?

  • You will need to display a UK sticker regardless of any registration plate identifiers.
  • You don't need green card insurance (as of June 2021).
  • You may need to register your trailer before entering some EU countries. You can find out more at gov.uk/guidance/trailer-registration.

Check gov.uk/driving-abroad for a step-by-step guide, and any requirements specific to the country you’re driving in.

Taking pets abroad

What's changed?

  • You can no longer use the Pet Passport scheme to travel with your pets to the EU.
  • You must get your pets microchipped and vaccinated against rabies before it can travel.
  • You must obtain an Animal Health Certificate from your vet no more than 10 days before you travel. Your pet will need a new Animal Health Certificate for each trip to an EU country or Northern Ireland from Great Britain.

You can find the full requirements for taking pets to the EU at gov.uk/guidance

Data roaming

What's changed?

  • UK mobile network EE are reintroducing roaming charges for customers who join or upgrade after 7 July 2021. The charges will apply from January 2022.
  • Vodafone are reintroducing roaming charges for all customers from January 2022.
  • All other major UK networks have said they do not plan to reintroduce charges but there are no guarantees. 
  • A recently introduced law means that you’re protected from getting mobile data charges above £45 without you knowing. Once you reach the £45 limit, you’ll need to opt in to spend more so that you can continue using the internet while you’re abroad. Your phone operator will tell you how you can do this.

Package Travel Regulations

What's changed?

Nothing. The UK Government has confirmed that Package Travel Regulations will remain unchanged in UK law.

Consumer rights

What's changed?

Your consumer rights in regards to travelling will remain mostly unchanged.

Overseas Visitors

What's changed?

There has been no change to visa & passport requirements for visitors from non-EU countries. However, the ETIAS Visa Waiver scheme will affect overseas visitors from late 2022 onwards.

Food & Animal products

What's changed?

  • There are now controls on bringing food, animal products and plants into the EU.
  • You are not allowed to bring any meat or dairy products into the EU.
  • You will be allowed to bring a limited quantity of fruit, vegetables, eggs and egg products, fish and fish products and honey into the EU.
  • There are limits on how much infant food, pet food, specially formulated foods and medically-prescribed food.
  • You are not allowed to bring any plants for planting, most seeds, cut flowers and tuber vegetables such as potatoes into the EU.

You can find further information at europa.eu

Transport: Air, Rail & Sea

What's changed?

  • Flights will continue as normal. There will be no impact to direct flights to non-EU countries. 
  • You can no longer use EU/EEA/Switzerland fast-track lanes at airports.
  • You will not experience any difference in aviation security screening. The UK will continue to apply robust aviation security measures and prioritise passenger safety and security.
  • Ferry services and cruises will still sail as most rules under which they operate are not based on EU rules, but are international.
  • Eurostar and Eurotunnel services from the UK to the EU will continue to operate as usual. 

For more information, visit gov.uk/brexit
Apply for a EHIC or GHIC nhs.uk
Travelling on Eurostar eurostar.com/brexit
Travelling on Eurotunnel eurotunnel.com/post-brexit-travel/