COVID-19 has undoubtedly been the topic of choice for the media throughout 2020. But one other notable subject that is now making waves in mainstream media once again is Brexit. That’s because the 31st December 2020 Brexit transition deadline is looming.
One thing that’s on many people’s minds is what travel to and from European Union nations will be like post-transition. There will be some changes to the way you can holiday in Europe, and for loved ones that are hoping to move to the UK to be with their families in Britain.
The following are five ways that travel to and from EU countries will be different once the Brexit transition period is over:
You’ll need to guarantee your passport is valid
One crucial check you must make after the transition period is over is that your British passport is valid. From the 1st January 2021, as part of the new travel rules, you’ll need to ensure your passport has at least six months validity remaining on it.
Another thing to check is that your passport isn’t older than nine and a half years. If you need a new passport, the current renewal fee is £75.50 if you do it online, or £85 if you fill out a paper application form.
You may need a visa for extended stays in the EU
Most people visiting a European country for leisure or business purposes won’t need a visa to visit, the same as the rules are at the moment. However, things can get complicated for extended stays.
You’re allowed to stay in an EU country for up to 90 days without a visa in any 180-day period. Any longer stays or extra visits, such as for work or study, and you’ll likely need to apply for a visa.
Loved ones in the EU may need a UK visa
The 90-day rule for visiting an EU country, as mentioned earlier, also applies to EU visitors travelling to the UK. If a loved one such as a spouse wants to live and work in the UK, they might need a spouse visa or one specific to their circumstances.
It’s worth checking the rules on the UK government website to determine whether your loved one might need a visa. You should also remember that some European countries aren’t part of the EU, just to complicate things further!
Free mobile roaming as you know it will end
After the Brexit transition period, UK travellers to Europe will no longer enjoy free mobile roaming in the European Union. It will be up to the individual mobile networks to decide what to charge if anything.
At the time of writing, EE confirmed that it doesn’t plan to charge its UK customers roaming fees if they use their phones in the EU.
You’ll need to have valid travel insurance
Finally, the free EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) travel cover you’ve enjoyed when visiting the EU will no longer apply to people from the United Kingdom. With that in mind, you’ll need to buy travel insurance as you would for destinations outside the EU.