Brexit advice for travellers
The Brexit extension to 31 October 2019 has provided absolute certainty that all current arrangements for travel will remain as they are today, for example:
You will still have access to state medical care in any EU country as long as you have an up to date European Health Insurance Card. ABTA always advises that travellers should also take out travel insurance and make sure it covers any medical conditions or activities they plan to do.
You will be able to move through UK ports and airports as usual, using the EU/EEA passport gates.
All consumer rights and benefits from EU laws will also remain including airline compensation for cancellation or delays, and the ability to use your mobile phone abroad without additional charges.
What will happen after 31 October 2019?
If the Government agrees a deal on or before that date, the UK will then enter a transition period and everything will continue to remain the same and you can continue to travel as you do now.
There is still a possibility that the UK could leave the EU at the end of October without a deal. There have been reassurances around flights and visas, these are reflected in ABTA's frequently asked questions below.
ABTA have also identified actions travellers may wish to take in advance to help avoid unnecessary future disruption in the event of a no-deal scenario.
Will flights still operate?
UK citizens can be reassured that regardless of the Brexit outcome planes will still fly between the UK and the EU: 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. Even if we are in a no-deal scenario, the European Commission has said that UK airlines will still be able to operate flights between the UK and the EU. The UK government has offered similar assurances for EU airlines.
Will I need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit?
The European Parliament has confirmed that UK travellers won’t need a visa to travel the EU after Brexit, even if the UK leaves without a deal. UK citizens will be able to visit the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa.
Passports and travel insurance
This information covers areas where you can take reasonable action or put plans into place now:
Check the date your passport expires. If we leave the EU without a deal, the UK government recommends that you have six months left on your passport on the date of your arrival in an EU country.
You should also check when your passport was renewed. If you renewed a 10-year adult passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months over 10 years will not count towards the 6 months that must be remaining.
You can renew your passport online or by going to a Post Office with a Check and Send service.
You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.
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 no-deal Brexit, UK registered EHICs will no longer be valid.
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.