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What will Brexit mean for UK travel?

The decision for the UK to leave the European Union took effect on the 31st January 2020. At the moment what is being reported in the news can sound a tad confusing and unpredictable. Along with providing comprehensive travel insurance policies, at Holiday Extras we aim to make sure you're kept up-to-date with the latest travel news and are keen to provide you with a comprehensive guide to navigating this political minefield. We would like your time to be spent planning the resorts you want to enjoy rather than worrying about how Brexit may affect your travel!

Following both the UK and the EU signing the Withdrawal Agreement on 31st January 2020, we are now in a transition period lasting until at least 31st December 2020. During this time, everything will remain the same and you can continue to travel without any changes. Provided you have an up-to-date EHIC card, you can still access state medical care in any EU country until one of these extension dates, though this cover is very limited and we advise you take out comprehensive travel insurance with medical cover and declare any pre-existing medical conditions.

What will happen to my EHIC after Brexit?

At this stage your European Health Identity Card (EHIC) allows you the same medical care as EU nationals and British travellers can use their EHICs throughout 2020. Please remember that there are limitations to the EHIC card and if you're a holiday maker it's important to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers all pre-existing medical conditions you have and the activities you plan to do on your trip.

For further information please check out our page on whether your EHIC card will be valid post-Brexit.

Will you need a visa to visit Europe post-Brexit?

There will be no changes to how you enter the EU or its Member States during this transition period. You need not worry about visas for short trips either. You will be able to stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. There is a possibility that you will need a visa or permit to stay and work for longer than this period of time though. If you're an Irish citizen you'll still be able to enter to work or study in the UK without a visa.

At present what you need to show at a UK border will not change, according to the UK Government website. You will still need to show a valid passport or national identity card if you're a citizen of either:

  • an EU country
  • Norway, Iceland, Switzerland or Liechtenstein

At some airports you can use your automatic biometric passport or ePassport (if your passport has a chip) and you're 12 years or over. These ePassport gates tend to be much faster. If you're not a citizen of an EU country, or one of the countries listed above, you'll need to show a valid passport. You do not need to have six months left on your passport to travel to the EU, however you passport does need to be valid for the whole of your trip.

For more information check out our comprehensive guide to whether you will need a visa for travel to Europe post-Brexit.

Will there be mobile phone roaming charges in the EU after Brexit?

Currently, under EU rules, the cost of making calls, sending messages or using the internet on your phone in the EU is the same as the UK and this will continue during this transition period. Several UK companies have said they may continue to offer this benefit to their customers after this too, which is great news!

For further information please visit our guide to what will happen to roaming charges after Brexit.

Further FAQs

Will flights still operate post-Brexit?

Yes, everything will remain the same until the end of December 2020.

Will ferries and cruise ships continue to sail after we leave the EU?

Yes, ferry services and cruises will still sail as the majority of the rules under which they operate are international rules and not based on the EU.

Will my coach trip still operate after Brexit?

Yes, coaches will still be able to travel to and from the EU, and are expected to continue to take passengers to and around European countries as per usual.

Will trains from the UK to the EU still run?

Trains from the UK to the EU will continue to operate as normal but we advise that you check with your travel company to see if there is any additional information you need to be aware of.

Can I still take my pet abroad after Brexit?

Yes, there will be no changes during the transition period, but be aware that pet owners should keep an eye out for any further instructions issued by the UK Government by checking the Government's website.

If you found this Brexit and travel page useful, then read through a few of our other top Brexit guides for further helpful information.

All information correct as of February 2020. Sources: the UK Government website and The Association of British Travel Agents website.

Holiday Extras Travel Insurance is sold and administered by Holiday Extras Cover Limited who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under registration number 828848.

Holiday Extras™ is a Trading Name of Holiday Extras Cover Limited

Holiday Extras Travel Insurance is provided by Taurus Insurance Services, an insurance intermediary licenced and authorised in Gibraltar by the Financial Services Commission under Permission Number 5566 and authorised to passport general insurance intermediary services into the UK and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK under registration number 444830.

The insurance is underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance UK Limited. Great Lakes Insurance UK Limited is a company incorporated in England and Wales with company number 13436330 and whose registered office address is 10 Fenchurch Avenue, London, United Kingdom, EC3M 5BN. Great Lakes Insurance UK Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 955859. You can check this on the Financial Services Register by visiting; or by contacting the Financial Conduct Authority on 0800 111 6768.