After a year like no other, a holiday in 2021 will be top of the list for lots of us.
But with the Brexit transition period coming to an end on December 31, how we travel in the EU is set to change.
With new rules coming into force from January 1 relating to everything from passports, travel insurance and driving to pet travel and roaming charges, it’s crucial to take note to make sure our much-needed holidays go without a hitch.
Here are some of the changes to look out for:
If travelling from January 1 2021 you may need to apply for your British passport earlier than usual, as it will need to meet new rules for travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland).
Under these new rules, your passport must have at least six months left, and be less than ten years old.
Make sure you apply in good time, and don’t book travel without a passport that meets your travel needs.
Check your passport for travel to Europe from January here.
2. Travel Insurance
Check you’re covered with appropriate travel insurance.
The European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) may no longer be valid after December 31 – and remember, the EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance, so you will still need to organise a travel insurance package that covers everything from your healthcare needs to being flown back to the UK if necessary.
From January 2021 you will still need to carry your UK driving licence with you if driving in the EU, and you may also need an International Driving Permit (IDP).
If you’re taking your own vehicle, you will also need a ‘green card’ and a GB sticker.
You will not need an IDP when visiting Ireland if you have a UK driving licence. An IDP costs £5.50 and you can get it over the counter at the Post Office.
4. Pet Travel
Come January 2021 you will not be able to use the current pet passport scheme. You will need to follow a different process so visit your vet at least one month in advance of travel.
The guarantee of free mobile phone roaming throughout the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will come to an end from January 2021 – though many operators say they won't charge extra. To find out more, check with your network provider.
Act now to get prepared. Use the simple checker tool on gov.uk/transition for a personalised summary of the actions you need to take and full details of all actions above.
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