Brexit Travel Advice
The latest news and advice concerning travel after the UK leaves the EU.
How will Brexit affect my business travel arrangements?
In this section, we have rounded up everything you need to know about business travel arrangements after Brexit. When you've been in business as long as we have, you gain invaluable knowledge and experience, overcoming new and unexpected challenges and adapting to the changing world around us. By placing your trust in Dawson & Sanderson Corporate Travel, you can rest assured knowing you have an expert team behind you to help whenever you need us. As part of an independent travel agency with 57 years of experience, we will continue to deliver corporate travel services beyond expectations.
The advice below is the latest guidance available. Information may be updated at very short notice. Please bookmark this section for the latest updates.
Update from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office has launched a public information campaign to help British travellers prepare for changes when visiting Europe from 1 January 2021, when the UK’s transition period ends.
The press statement can be accessed via this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-information-campaign-to-help-brits-prepare-for-eu-travel-changes
The campaign includes information about the new rules around passport validity, driving and travelling with pets, as well as reminding travellers to obtain comprehensive travel insurance and check official government travel advice before going abroad.
Ahead of visiting Europe from 1 January 2021, travellers are being asked to visit gov.uk/transition to:
Check their passport validity using the GOV.UK passport checker and renew now if needed. There will be new rules around passport validity when travelling to Europe after 1 January 2021. This does not apply to Ireland.
Purchase comprehensive travel insurance that covers all needs, including healthcare. European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) may no longer be valid from January 2021; details will be published shortly.
Check and obtain driving documents for each country, such as an International Driving Permit, if planning to drive.
Check roaming policies with their mobile phone provider.
Check travel advice on gov.uk for country-specific rules, including information on Coronavirus restrictions.
In addition to the campaign, the FCDO have a specific guidance note called Visit Europe from 1 January 2021, which provides advice on how to prepare when planning on travelling to Europe from 1 January 2021.
Should I be concerned about my travel arrangements with the uncertainty surrounding Brexit?
We understand you may be anxious to find out more about what may happen with Brexit, to help you plan your business travel. The good thing to know is that the European Commission has said that planes leaving from the UK will still be allowed to fly over the territory of the European Union, even in a no-deal scenario. So you can rest assured that your flight should still go ahead as planned. Our partners are committed to operating to all of their destinations, including those within the EU, so you can still book with us in confidence.
Will flights still operate?
Regardless of the Brexit outcome, planes will still be able to fly between the UK and the EU. When and if a deal is agreed, we’ll enter a transition period, meaning everything will stay as it is until the end of December 2020 and flights will continue as normal. Even in the case of a no-deal scenario, the European Commission and UK government have said that UK airlines will still be able to operate flights between the UK and the EU. The UK government has also agreed that airlines operating out of the EU will be able to fly into the UK.
Will I need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit?
You shouldn’t need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit. The European Commission announced in November 2018 that, even in a no-deal scenario, UK travellers will still be able to visit the EU without a visa, providing the same is offered to European citizens visiting the UK. The European Commission has also said that from 2021, UK citizens will need to pay a fee – of around seven euros – for this visa exemption. This is part of a new electronic travel authorisation system, which applies to all third country visitors to the EU – it’s similar to the ESTA Visa Waiver Programme that the USA has.
What happens if I book to travel after 31st January 2020 and my travel arrangements cannot go ahead due to Brexit?
There is nothing to suggest that you won’t be able to continue with your travel plans after 31st January 2020. Even in a no-deal scenario, the European Commission and UK government have said flights to and from the UK will still be able to operate.
Will I need a new passport?
If you're travelling to the EU after the 31st January 2020, your passport should still be valid, even if the UK leaves the EU with No Deal.
However, there are some exceptions:
1. You will need to make sure you have at least 6 months left on your passport after your departure date, in the event of a No Deal Brexit. This applies to both Adult and Child passports.
2. If you renewed your passport before the last one expired, extra months will have been added to your current passport. These extra months may not count towards the 6 months required to travel to a European destination.
Remember: your passport validity is your responsibility. You won't be able to travel with an expired passport. Regardless of the printed Date of Expiry, please double check your passport validity now.
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Should I take out travel insurance to cover Brexit?
It is important whenever and wherever you travel that you have adequate travel insurance which covers your specific needs, including any known medical conditions or activities you plan to do. It is also worth checking the detail of the policy around travel disruption including delays or cancellations as policies do vary.
Driving Licences & Car Insurance
As long as you have a full UK driving licence, you don’t currently need an additional licence to drive in the EU. This is likely to change in a no-deal scenario. UK travellers looking to drive in the EU on or after 31st January 2020 may need to apply for the relevant International Driving Permit.
These cost £5.50 and are available directly from the Post Office. The Government has extended the network of Post Offices where you can apply for an International Driving Permit, find your nearest branch here.
Check carefully which permit is required for each country you intend to drive within, as you may need more than one permit to comply with the law.
You need to make sure you have your International Driving Permit before you travel from the UK as you will not be able to apply for this when you are in the EU.
More information is available here.
If the UK leaves without a deal, UK citizens driving their vehicle within the EU would be required to obtain and carry a physical Green Card in order for your UK car insurance to be applicable in the EU. These cards would be issued by insurers and you may be charged a small fee to cover administration costs.
Speak with your insurer for more information on obtaining a Green Card for any trip on or after 31st January 2020.
The ABI – the trade body for the insurance industry – recommends you contact your car insurance company at least one month in advance of travelling.
Taking pets abroad
In the event of a no-deal, pets would continue to be able to travel from the UK to the EU, but the requirements for documents and health checks would change. If you wish to take your pet to the EU on or after 31st January 2020 pet owners would need to discuss preparations for their pet’s travel with an Official Veterinarian at least four months in advance of the date they wish to travel. Pet owners should keep an eye out for any further instructions issued by the UK Government.
More information is available here.
Under EU rules, the cost of making calls, sending messages or using the internet on your phone in the EU is the same in the UK. If the UK leaves without a deal these rules will no longer apply – however, some UK companies have said they may continue to offer this benefit to their customers. Before you travel, check with your mobile phone provider about the costs of using your phone in the EU.
The advice above is the latest guidance available. Information may be updated at very short notice. Please bookmark this section for the latest updates.
ABTA Advice for Passengers
Further to the operational bulletin of 9th January advising the Government increased its communications about the possible implications of leaving the EU, today the Foreign and Commonwealth office (FCO) has updated the travel advice for all European and EEA countries with information and advice for British Nationals travelling to or living in an EU country. For the purpose of this bulletin, we have used the advice included within the Austria FCO travel advice. Please use the specific country links below to check the details for the areas that you feature as the rules may be different.
Europe and EEA Countries FCO Travel advice updates:
The FCO has updated the travel advice for the European and EEA countries.
Amendments include: Entry requirements section (Visas) – addition of information; EU exit visa requirements
Entry requirements – Visas
If the UK leaves with a deal, travel to the EU will remain the same as now until at least 31 December 2020. You will not need to apply for a visa to travel or work in the EU during this time. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the rules for travelling or working in Europe will change after 31st January 2020. The European Commission has proposed that in a no deal situation, if you’re a British Citizen, you would not need a visa for short stays in the Schengen area or elsewhere in the EU.
You would be able to stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Visits to the Schengen area within the previous 180 days before your date of travel will count against the 90-day limit. If you’re intending to stay in the Schengen area for longer than 90 days, or your stay would take you over the 90 days in the 180-day limit, you may need to get a visa before you travel. Travel to EU countries currently outside the Schengen area (Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria, Cyprus) would not count towards the 90-day total.
On arrival in the Schengen Area, you may be asked to confirm that you have sufficient funds available for the duration of your stay. As non-EEA nationals, different border control checks will apply, and you may also be asked to show a return or onward ticket. UK nationals would not have an ongoing right to use the separate lanes provided for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals. The 90-day visa-free period does not entitle you to work in the Schengen area. Most countries will require a visa and work permit.
You should check with the Austrian Embassy what type of visa, if any, you will need. If you’re planning a stay of longer than 3 months, see our Living in Austria guide and contact the Austrian Embassy if you have further questions.
Czech Republic: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/czech-republic