Brexit: ABTA updates advice for travellers after 31 January

The travel association has updated its guidelines British holidaymakers heading to EU countries after country leaves the EU on January 31

Image by Steve Watts from Pixabay

The Travel Association is updating its advice for travellers in the run up to Brexit on 31 January. This latest advice highlights that the UK is now on track to enter a transition period at the end of the month meaning that all travel requirements and arrangements will remain the same until at least the end of December 2020.europe sim card

This new advice replaces that previously given to reflect the government’s ‘Get Ready for Brexit’ campaign which spelt out how a ‘no-deal’ scenario would affect important areas such as passport validity, European Health Insurance Cards, driving licences, taking pets abroad and data roaming. 

ABTA research shows that nearly a third of people (31%1)  are unsure about how Brexit will affect their travel plans and, since the General Election, hits to ABTA’s “Brexit advice for travellers” website page have increased by over 376% 2 as Brits research their travel plans for the year ahead. 

Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive, says, “The UK is primed to enter a new Brexit phase from 31 January, when trade talks begin, and when it does nothing will change when it comes to travel. 

“This means that valid passports can still be used, EHIC cards will still be valid and the same gates can be used at border check points. People can continue to make their travel plans with confidence that things won’t change until at least the end of 2020.

“As the UK’s most trusted travel association ABTA has been actively providing advice to travellers throughout the Brexit process and will continue to do so as the longer term relationship with the EU becomes clearer.”

ABTA’s Brexit advice for travellers can be found at www.abta.com/brexit, and at the same time ABTA is communicating the message that Brits can continue to travel with confidence through a radio advertising and digital campaign until the end of January.

Common questions about travel after 31 January 2020

Will flights still operate?

Yes. If a deal is agreed then we will be in a transition period, meaning everything will stay the same until the end of December 2020 and flights will continue as normal.

Will ferries and cruise ships still sail?

Ferry services and cruises will still sail as in any case the majority of the rules under which they operate are not based on EU rules, but are international.

Will my coach journey still operate?

Coaches will still be able to travel to and from the EU, and around EU countries as usual.

Will trains from the UK to the EU still operate?

Trains from the UK to the EU will continue to operate as usual.

Will I need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit?

No. UK travellers won’t need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit.

Should I take out travel insurance to cover Brexit?

The best way to protect your holiday is to book a package – it is then the travel provider’s responsibility to make sure your holiday is provided and to offer an alternative or refund if it cannot be delivered.  

It is important that 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.

Passports

Valid passports can still be used. You do not need to have six months left on your passport to travel to the EU. Your passport does however need to be valid for the whole of your trip.

European Health Insurance Card and travel insurance

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows any EU citizen to access state medical care when they are travelling in another EU country. In the event of a Brexit deal, UK registered EHICs will still be valid throughout 2020.

ABTA has always advised holidaymakers and business travellers to make sure they have appropriate travel insurance, whether they have an EHIC card or not, as there are limitations to EHIC.

When travelling in the EU and beyond, it is important you take out travel insurance and check that it covers your current circumstances, including any medical conditions. If you have an annual policy, make sure you check the Terms and Conditions and contact your insurance provider if you’re not sure.

Driving licences

As long as you have a full UK driving licence, you don’t currently need an additional licence to drive in the EU. This will not change following 31 January 2020. An International Driving Permit will not be required, and you do not need a GB sticker or a Green Card for car insurance.

Taking pets abroad

There will be no change in relation to taking pets abroad after 31 January 2020.

Data roaming

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 and this will continue after 31 January 2020.

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