There's just 58 days to go – will Brexit affect your travel plans?

There's just 58 days to go – will Brexit affect your travel plans?

Our Brexit reporter Gemma Jimmison takes a look at your main concerns when it comes to Brexit and holidays

Let’s face it – January is pretty bleak and cold, so most of us have already started to think about getting some sun.

But what will happen when Brexit goes ahead on March 29 – will you need to change your passport before travelling? What about needing a visa?

There’s so many questions – and that’s where we come in.

We’ve answered the first few of our readers’ concerns in a handy Q&A format below:

Will I need a new passport?

New blue passports will start from October this year, but there’s no need to do anything until your current passport is ready for renewal. You’ll still be able to travel on your old burgundy passport as it is a UK document.

However, if we leave with no deal, then from March 29, you will need to have at least six months left on your passport. If you renewed your passport before it expired, then any extra months won’t count either. In other words, your passport should not be any older than nine years and six months when you travel.

Read more: Travel boom on the take off despite Brexit scaremongering

Will I need a visa to travel in the EU?

No, not for short-term stays for holidays or business purposes. This is providing the UK offers the same deal for EU citizens who want to visit us. We will, however, have to to pay a fee to visit Europe after Brexit. From 2021, you’ll need to fill in a ETIAS application form so other countries can check you’re not a security threat. This is similar to the US ESTA scheme. ETIAS is not a result of Brexit, it was being brought in anyway, but we wouldn’t have had to pay as a member of the EU.

Will my European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) still work?

At the minute, if we fall sick or get injured while visiting the EU, then we can access the same free or discounted medical care that is available to residents of that country. The EHIC proves your eligibility. After Brexit, regardless of the deal reached, the government will need to renegotiate this arrangement. At the minute, a bill called Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill is being passed through Parliament to help reach such an agreement. Until then though, you should check what the arrangement is with the country you’re visiting as EHIC may not be valid. Make sure you have travel insurance too (you really should have this anyway).

Will duty free goods return?

At the minute, UK travellers can only enjoy duty free shopping if they’re lucky enough to be jetting off to somewhere more exotic than the EU – like the Caribbean or America. Opinion is divided on whether this will change, but one thing is certain – it won’t be until after any transition period is over.

Do you have another Brexit travel-related question? Email our Brexit Reporter Gemma Jimmison on [email protected]


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