British travellers planning a holiday in Europe next year will have to ensure they follow these post Brexit guidelines as issued by the UK Government. By Tanvi Jain

 

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Over four years post-Brexitthe Government has finally come up with new guidelines for British travellers planning a trip to Europe from January 2021. While the rules apply strictly both for the European Union countries as well as for Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Norway, for Ireland it’s more relaxed. 

Certain key highlights as per gov.uk include:

  1. Renewing your British passport if you’re travelling from January 1, 2021. On the day you travel, you’ll need your passport to have at least six months left, and be less than 10 years old (even if it has six months or more left). If you do not renew your passport, you may not be able to travel to most of the EU countries, and also Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. These rules, however, do not apply to travel to Irelandand you can continue to use your passport as long as it’s valid for the length of your stay.
  2. You should always get appropriate travel insurance with healthcare cover before you go abroad. Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will be valid up to December 31, 2020. It’s particularly important you get travel insurance with the right cover if you have a pre-existing medical condition. This is because the EHIC scheme covers pre-existing conditions, while many travel insurance policies do not.
  3. For driving also, you may need extra documents from January 1, 2021, such as an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in some countries; a green card’ or valid proof of insurance and a GB sticker, in case you are taking your own vehicle.

     

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  4. Make sure to check your travel insurance policy as some policies only cover certain types of disruptionHowever, as a consumer, there won’t be any changes in your rights. For example, even if your travel is cancelled or delayed post January 1, 2021, you may still be able to claim a refund or compensation. 
  5. Moreover, if you are travelling with a petthe existing pet passport scheme will not be valid post January 1, 2021, instead, you’ll need to follow a different process, which will take at least four months to arrange for pet travel.
  6. If you’re a tourist, you will not need a visa for short trips to EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and SwitzerlandYou’ll be able to stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. However, you may need a visa or permit to stay for longer, to work or study, or for business travel. Meanwhile, conditions for travelling to or working in Ireland will remain the same even post January 1, 2021.

     

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  7. At border control, you may need to show a return or onward ticket, and that you have enough money for your stayEU, EEA and Swiss citizens, will have to use separate lanes when queueing.
  8. From 1 January 2021, the guarantee of free mobile phone roaming throughout the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will end.
  9. If you buy a holiday package and your travel company goes out of business, you can still get the covereven if it’s an EU company, as long as it targets UK customers. You can even claim compensation if you used your credit card, for payments between £100 and £30,000 (approximately INR 10,000 to 29 lakh). 

The rules are however subject to change between now and next year.

Related: How does Brexit affect the Indian Traveller?