Travelling After Brexit

Travelling After Brexit

Now Britain has left the EU, you may need to do extra things when travelling abroad:

Check passport validity

From 1 January 2021, you must have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland).

If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed.

Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip. You will need to renew your passport before travelling if you do not have enough time left on your passport.

Get travel insurance which covers your healthcare

If your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) is still valid, you will be able to use it travelling to an EU country. If it is out of date, then you can’t use it.

We recommend purchasing travel insurance which would cover your healthcare in the event of an emergency.

Check you have the right driving documents

If you’re taking your own vehicle, you will need a green card and a GB sticker.

You might also need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in some EU countries and Norway if you have:

  • a paper driving licence
  • a licence issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man

Organise pet travel

You cannot use the existing pet passport scheme. Instead you’ll need an animal health certificate (AHC) for your pet. Allow at least 1 month to arrange this and relevant vaccinations.

Please see our Travelling with a Dog – Passports and Vaccinations page for more details.

Check free roaming mobile charges with your operator

The guarantee of free mobile phone roaming throughout the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway has ended.

Check with your phone operator to find out about any roaming charges you might get from 1 January 2021.

A new law means that you’re protected from getting mobile data charges above £45 without you knowing.

Once you reach £45, you need to opt in to spend more so that you can continue using the internet while you’re abroad. Your phone operator will tell how you can do this.

Entry requirements to other countries

Each country will have it’s own different rules, so we urge you to check in advance what your destination requirements are:

At border control, you may need to:

  • show a return or onward ticket
  • show you have enough money for your stay
  • use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing

Visas from 1 January 2021

The rules for travelling or working in Europe will change from 1 January 2021:

  • you will be able to travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training
  • if you are travelling to Schengen countries without a visa, make sure your whole visit is within the limit. Visits to Schengen countries within the previous 180 days before you travel would count towards the 90-day limit
  • To stay for longer, to work or study, for business or for other reasons, you will need to meet the entry requirements set out by the country. This could mean applying for a visa and/or work permit. You should check with the local embassy what type of visa and/or work permit, if any, you will need.
  • if you are in a country with a visa or permit, your stay will not count towards the 90-day limit.

Check each country’s travel advice page for information on how to get a visa or permit.