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Brexit & The Changes to European Travel

During the Brexit transition period, there have been minimal changes for individuals travelling to EU, the EEA and Switzerland. However, from the 31 December 2020, many new rules will come into circulation. It is important for both businesses and individuals to be aware of the changes ahead of the deadline to ensure they are well prepared for any new policies that may affect their travel. arrangeMY will remain on-hand to ensure you are prepared for any changes if you’re planning on travelling to Europe from 1 January 2021.

Here are some of the main factors to be aware of ahead of European Travel in 2021:

Check Your Passport

From 1st January 2021, UK Passport holders who intend to travel to the EU must ensure that their password has 6 months validity remaining as a minimum and is less than 10 years old. Before embarking on any European Travel, individuals will need to check their passport meets these guidelines or risk being unable to travel. Should a passport not meet these required criteria, they will need to renew in plenty of time ahead of their trip. It is advisable to give at least 6 weeks to renew a passport, bearing in mind that this process is taking much longer than usual due to the impacts of coronavirus. 

Changes to the Business VISA

One of the main deviations that businesses will need to be aware of relates to any Business VISAs held by their employee. Those travelling to the EU for business purposes would need to comply with stricter VISA or work permit requirements after the deadline ends at the end of this year. It will remain possible to undertake corporate travel to Europe for certain activities such as a conference or business meeting without a work VISA, however the requirement will differ between each Country. As per UK Government advice, before commencing any business travel, checking the entry requirements at the Country you are visiting is imperative. You can find further advice on each Country here:

Health insurance

A significant change coming into operation from 2021 surrounds the validity of European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC). At present, this card currently grants UK Nationals access to state funded medical treatment across all EU Countries. This has in previous meant that individuals could travel knowing they are covered by their EHIC, however this will end for the majority of UK Nationals as the new rules come in to operation.

From January 2021, the new UK Government advice sets out that individuals should look to source their own independent insurance to cover their healthcare ahead of any European Travel. The costs of healthcare can differ within each European Country, therefore it’s important to ensure you are fully covered.

Driving in Europe

Whilst policies around driving in Europe do differ by Country, it is important to understand that the changes at the end of the transition period may have a direct impact on some of the required permits and licenses.

An International Driving Permit (IDP) is the most important document that you may need to drive in some countries. Guidance will need to be checked depending on the area you are planning to travel to. If you’re taking your own vehicle, you might also need a ‘green card’ or valid proof of insurance and a GB sticker which again will need to be checked before travel. Green cards can be obtained for free through any insurance company, which is advisable to request 21 days before travel.

If you are hiring a car abroad, the company you are utilizing may ask to see your driving license information when you pick up the car. You can share this by getting a license ‘check code’, which can be done up to 21 days before your trip. Insurance is included when hiring a car from a company, however it is always very check what you’re covered for with the hire company.

With time ticking towards the transition deadline, it is very important to ensure your business and employees are fully aware of any changes that may affect their travel. arrangeMY remain fully operational and available to support your business through the transition to ensure you are fully covered. Our expert team are on hand to guide you through the changes with the most up-to-date advice. For any assistance with your upcoming travel plans and how to prepare for Brexit, please feel free to get in touch with our friendly Travel Team who would be delighted to assist!

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