The following information is a guide for you - check out the Government web sites as confirmation of the information below
- If you are going on holiday you won’t need a visa for short trips to Europe.
- At border control you may need to show a return ticket and that you have enough money for your stay.
- When going through passport control you may not be able to use the EU or EEA lanes.
- You won’t be able to take any meat, milk or any products containing these items into the EU. There are exceptions for powdered baby milk, baby food, or pet food required for medical reasons.
If you have a burgundy passport with “European Union” on the cover, it will continue to be valid as a UK travel document. But it loses all its EU powers. From the start of 2021, European rules on passport validity become much tougher
The basic requirement from the European perspective is simple: “You will need a passport valid for at least three months after the date you intend to leave the EU country you are visiting, which was issued within the previous 10 years.. Unhelpfully, there are several different interpretations of the rules.
Flights will still be available as now between the UK and Europe
What about health insurance?
All EHIC cards issued before the end of 2020 will be valid until their expiry date. EHICs last for five years (the expiry date will be on the front of your card).
After that, the UK will issue a new card. The government says it will be called the UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), This is now available - see Apply for a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Like EHIC, the new card will cover chronic or existing illnesses and routine maternity care as well as emergencies.
Where does the UK Global Health Insurance card come from?
The UK Global Health Insurance Card ( GHIC) is an identity card issued by the NHS Business Services Authority on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions in the United Kingdom.
If you have an existing EHIC
If you have an existing EHIC, it will remain valid until the expiry date on the card.
You can apply for a new card up to 6 months before your current card expires.
How to use your card
You can use your card to access medically necessary state-provided healthcare when you're visiting an EU country or Switzerland.
Medically necessary healthcare means healthcare that cannot reasonably wait until you come back to the UK. Whether treatment is necessary is decided by the healthcare provider in the country you're visiting.
Medically necessary healthcare includes things like:
- emergency treatment and visits to A&E
- treatment for a long-term or pre-existing medical condition
- routine medical care for pre-existing conditions that need monitoring
- routine maternity care, as long as you're not going abroad to give birth
- oxygen therapy and kidney dialysis
You'll need to pre-arrange some treatments with the relevant healthcare provider in the country you're visiting – for example, kidney dialysis or chemotherapy.
Not all state healthcare is free within the EU and Switzerland and so you may have to pay for services that you would get for free on the NHS.
Your EHIC or GHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance. It may not cover all health costs and never covers repatriation costs. Make sure you have travel insurance as well as your card.
What queue can I use at passport control?
You'll no longer be able to use EU fast-track passport control and customs lanes.
When you arrive in an EU country (except Ireland) be prepared to show your return ticket. You could also be asked to show that you have enough money for your stay.
Will I face mobile phone roaming charges?
You should check with your mobile provider to see if you're likely to face extra charges when you travel. The four main UK operators have said they have no plans to reintroduce roaming fees.
The EU and the UK agreed to cooperate on international mobile roaming, but there nothing in the new post-Brexit trade agreement that would stop travellers being charged for using their phone in the EU and vice versa, in the future.
The government has passed laws to protect customers, including:
- A £45-a-month cap on using mobile data abroad (then you must opt-in to use more)
- Requirements for customers to be informed when they've reached 80% and 100% of their data allowance.
Will I be able to drive in Europe?
Yes, but you'll need to take your driving licence, log book (V5C) and valid insurance documents.
You will need to contact your insurer six weeks before you travel to get a green card that will prove you have insurance that covers you in Europe.
Most drivers will not need to buy an International Driving Permit, with the exception of those with paper licences (not photocards) and those with licences issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man, who will need one for some European countries.