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.

Travel Insurance with Medical Cover at Holiday Extras

14 Day Guarantee
  • - We have over 25 years experience selling Travel Insurance
  • - We have policies with up to £10 million in medical cover
  • - We have a UK-based contact centre and 24/7 helpline

At Holiday Extras, we have been voted best travel insurance provider for more than 10 years running at Globe Travel Awards, with policies starting from only *.

Our Platinum travel insurance is our premium and most comprehensive level of cover. When you take out a Platinum policy, you can be assured of top cover levels for medical, baggage, repatriation, legal expenses and cancellation (unless in the case of a 'no-deal Brexit') - as well as numerous other added benefits which include:

  • Gadget cover of up to £750,
  • Natural Disaster cover of up to £2000,
  • Wedding cover of up to £1500, and
  • Pet care of up to £500 included as standard.

If you are working within a budget and would like a cheaper travel insurance alternative, you may like to take a look at our Bronze, Silver or Gold policies which provide you with appropriate levels of cover, including up to £5 million in medical cover with Bronze, or up to £10 million in medical cover with our Silver or Gold packages.

Check out our table below of what you can expect from each level of cover with Holiday Extras:

Medical cover
£5 million
£10 million
£10 million
£10 million
Baggage cover
Cancellation cover
Excess charge
Lost passport
Personal money

If you're a more frequent traveller then you may be interested in taking out an annual multi-trip policy which provides cover for worldwide travel as well as for travel for within the UK.

*Please note that you are not covered for cancellation/curtailment of flights, ferries, Eurostar or closure of the Channel Tunnel, or delays or disruption in the event of a 'no-deal Brexit'. Whatever happens after the 31st January 2020, check with your insurance provider that you have the right cover for you.

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 Cover Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Holiday Extras Cover Ltd 05058680 is registered in England and Wales. Registered address: Ashford Road, Newingreen, Kent CT21 4JF.

Holiday Extras Cover Ltd is underwritten by Travel Insurance Facilities plc which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered address: 2nd Floor, 1 Tower View, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent, ME19 4UY. Company number 03220410.