Brexit ‘won’t change’ holidays to Europe this summer
It is traditionally the busiest time of year for booking holidays, and travel bosses are hoping to give holidaymakers confidence by insisting that “nothing will change” if the UK withdraws as planned from the EU at the end of this month.
Europe is the number one overseas destination for UK travellers – with over 58 million trips abroad each year.
Now, travel trade association ABTA has updated its Brexit advice to state that the expected 11-month transition period means “arrangements will remain the same at least until the end of December”.
This replaces the organisation’s previous guidance which warned of potential changes to areas such as passport validity, European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC), driving licences, taking pets abroad and data roaming.
It said: “As the UK’s most trusted travel association ABTA has been actively providing advice to travellers throughout the Brexit process and we will continue to do so as the longer term relationship with the EU becomes clearer.”
A survey of more than 2,000 UK consumers carried out in July last year suggested 31% of people were unsure how Brexit would affect their travel plans.
Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “The UK is primed to enter a new Brexit phase from January 31 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.”
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.
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.
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 January 31. An International Driving Permit will not be required, and you do not need a GB sticker or a Green Card for car insurance.
There will be no change in relation to taking pets abroad after January 31.
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 January 31.