IN THE KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

The UK officially left the European Union on 1st January 2021. A trade deal has been agreed with the EU, which means although some things will change, you can still to travel to all our destinations with ease.

It’s understandable that you may have questions about how Brexit affects your holiday in 2021, which is why we’ve collated everything you need to know below, so that all you need to focus on is counting down until that well-deserved holiday!


Travelling from 1st January 2021

VISAS

Don’t panic – it’s not needed! If you’re on holiday and it’s for 90 days or less, you can travel freely between EU countries.

PASSPORTS

On the day you’re due to depart your passport needs to have at least six months left. You may need to renew your British passport earlier if it’s over ten years old, too, even if it has six months or more left on it.

• You can check if you need to renew your passport here ›

• You can apply for a new passport online here ›

PETS

The existing pet passport scheme ended on 1st January 2021. You can still take your pets on holiday with you, but you'll need an animal health certificate (AHC) instead.

Contact your vet at least a month before you travel to arrange any vaccinations your pet needs. Then you’ll need to get your animal health certificate signed by an official vet no more than 10 days before you go. Not all vets can issue AHCs, so check with your vet or find a vet who can issue them on the government’s official vet list.

• Read up on a lot of really useful information about travelling with pets here ›

DRIVING

If you’re taking your own car on holiday to Europe, you’ll need to do three things:

• Take your vehicle log book (V5C) with you

• Ask your insurer for a green card as proof of insurance

• Display a GB sticker on your vehicle

Your insurer might issue your green card by post, or they may tell you how to download one to print at home. Request your green card at least six weeks in advance to make sure it arrives in plenty of time.

You may need an international driving permit to drive in the EU if you have:

• A paper driving licence

• A licence issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man

If either of these things apply to you, contact the embassy of the country you’re visiting to check what documents you’ll need.

• Find out more about driving abroad here ›

HEALTH

Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is still valid in EU countries until its expiry date, even if it is years away.

If your EHIC is about to expire or you don’t have one, you can apply for a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to necessary medical care in an EU country for the same cost as a resident of that country.

Apply for your GHIC on the NHS website. GHICs are issued free of charge, so beware of scam sites which charge a fee for them

Visiting Switzerland

From 1st January 2021, neither the EHIC or GHIC will cover you for medical treatment in Switzerland.

If you’re planning to spend some or all of your holiday in Switzerland, make sure you arrange travel insurance with healthcare cover included.

• More information on choosing travel insurance here ›

MOBILE DATA ROAMING

Free mobile internet is no longer guaranteed for UK residents visiting the EU.

Contact your mobile phone operator to find out about what charges apply for using mobile data while abroad. A new law means you can’t be charged more than £45 without knowing – after this limit you have to opt in to spend more and continue using mobile internet abroad.

BORDER CONTROL

When you arrive in an EU country, you may have to:

• Show a ticket for return or onward travel

• Show you have enough money for your stay

• Use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queuing (join the ‘All Passports’ queue)

FOOD AND DRINK

You can’t bring any meat, milk, or products containing them into EU countries.

Small quantities of powdered infant milk, infant food, and pet food required for medical reasons are exempt, and you can still take a limited quantity of fruits and vegetables with you.

If you’re packing food for your holiday and you’re unsure what’s allowed, check the European Commission website before you travel.