Brexit is looming and people are still none-the-wiser about whether we will be leaving with or without a deal. What we do know, however, is some aspects of travel will be affected and your holiday may require some additional planning.
This is everything we know so far about how Brexit will affect your holiday plans from October 31st 2019. The information is correct at time of publication and will be amended as updates are released.
What will happen to the EHIC if we have a no-deal Brexit?
If we leave the EU on October 31st 2019 without a deal, it is possible the benefits from the EHIC will stop immediately.
The European Health Insurance Card, formally known as the E111, allows UK citizens to receive free or discounted emergency healthcare when travelling in the EU. It has been a safety net for holidaymakers for many years and without it, medical bills will be much higher.
Though travel insurance has always been a travel necessity, it is now more important than ever for holidaymakers to ensure they are buying a valid travel insurance policy. This includes making sure any pre-existing medical conditions are declared. Not declaring conditions could void a policy, and without the EHIC to fall back on, holidaymakers may not have the means to pay medical bills.
If we leave with a deal, it is likely the EHIC will remain in place during the transitional period.
Do I need to renew my passport because of Brexit?
Holidaymakers who are travelling after Brexit should check the following; does their passport have more than six months of validity from the date they travel and is it less than 10 years old. If the answer is yes to both, then the passport does not need to be renewed.
If the answer is no to either of the above, holidaymakers may be refused entry to the EU, including Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The exception is Ireland; as long as the passport is valid for the duration of the trip, UK citizens can travel to and from the country.
Cancellation or loss of holiday will not be covered by travel insurance. Therefore, anyone who is refused entry to a country runs the risk of financial loss – as well as disappointment.
Those who are concerned about their passport being valid for travel after October 31st 2019 can check whether or not they need to renew by using the Government’s Passport Checker.
Will there be longer queues at border control?
Apparently not. According to the Government, transport will not be affected by Brexit meaning flights will not be grounded. Security processes at airports will not change for passengers travelling to or from the UK, so theoretically there won’t be any additional queues. However, if delays do become an issue after October 31st 2019 passengers should allow plenty of time to pass through check-in and security. Travel insurance policies will not cover missed flights due to airport queues.
If there is a no deal Brexit, those travelling to non-EU countries i.e. Switzerland by bus or coach should check the status of their trip with their travel company. It’s possible scheduled buses and coaches may not be able to go ahead.
Can I still drive my own car abroad after Brexit?
The rules for driving abroad will change slightly after Brexit. Anyone driving in the EU, whether it’s their own car or a hired vehicle, should apply for an International Driving Permit. Those taking their own vehicle will need to speak to their car insurance company to obtain a Green Card, the vehicle will also need to display a GB sticker. These stickers can be brought from most garages, car shops such as Halfords and even selected supermarkets.
Will I need a visa to travel to the EU?
If the trip is shorter than 90-days, a visa will not be required. Those planning to stay in Europe a longer period of time or work or study may need to apply for a permit or visa.
There isn’t much information on this at the moment, but we will keep you updated when we know more.
Am I still protected if my travel company goes bust?
It’s not unheard of for travel companies to go into liquidation. Holidaymakers who buy a package holiday that is ATOL protected will still be entitled to claim back their money if the company goes bust. Including holidays that have been brought from an EU company that targets the UK market.
Those who have paid for their holiday using a credit card, may be able to claim the cost back from their credit card company if their travel provider goes bust.
If the holiday is not ATOL protected, and the company goes bust, travel insurance may be able to help. Some policies will include End Supplier Failure cover as standard and others will have the option to add on the cover. This cover will only be valid if the costs cannot be recuperated from another source.
If I am delayed, will is still be entitled to compensation from the airline?
If travel is delayed or cancelled, passengers will still be entitled to compensation under the same circumstances that apply at the moment. This means if the delay is not caused by an extraordinary circumstance (something that is outside of the airlines control i.e. weather, air traffic control strikes) then passengers can claim compensation. More on amounts and eligibility can be found on the Civil Aviation Authority website.
Can I still use internet roaming in the EU for free?
Unfortunately, this is unlikely. Phone companies will not longer have to offer free data roaming for customers visiting the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway.
Holidaymakers will need to check with their phone company if charges will apply after October 31st. A safety net is phone companies will not be able to charge customers more than £45.00 for data roaming abroad. Once customers hit the £45.00 mark they will be asked to ‘opt in’ to roaming charges.
Most hotels and restaurants in Europe offer free WiFi, but remember not all connections will be secure.
What about if I want to take my pet abroad?
At the moment it is relatively easy to take your pet to Europe, but after Brexit the existing pet passport scheme will cease to exist. The procedure for taking your pet abroad will take four months. More on how to take your pet into the EU can be found here.
*Disclaimer: All information has been checked against Government updates and was correct at the time of publication. This content will be updated as new information is released.