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Brexit Travel Advice

Brexit travel ships with UK and EU flags

Will Brexit affect my holiday?

Here’s what we know so far… As always we will keep all our customers updated as things develop.

Lots of customers have already booked their 2019 and some 2020 holidays. Questions are popping up about Brexit and whether it will affect people’s holidays.

Rest assured we will bring you all the latest travel news. Here are some of the reassurances being offered right now from ABTA regarding flights and holidays: Brexit advice for travellers.

Customer Q&As

I’ve booked a holiday for this year – will it go ahead?

If the EU and UK government reach a deal, there will be a two-year transition period until 31st December 2020, which means nothing should change during that time.

Even in the event of a no deal scenario, we expect flights to operate as normal. Planes will still fly between UK and Europe.

Will my flight be cancelled because of Brexit?

Planes will still be allowed to fly between UK and Europe. There is nothing to suggest that holidays won’t go ahead as planned. Your holiday will be covered by the Passenger Transport Regulations, if part of a package. This will provide you with security should any changes be made by the airlines.

Will I need to get a new passport after 29th March 2019?

No, you won’t need a new passport if you have a minimum of six months’ validity for the country you are travelling to. It is very important to check passport validity. Extra months which were previously added onto your passport if renewed early will not be valid as part of the six months. Validity can be easily checked here.

Will I need a visa to travel to Europe?

You shouldn’t need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit. Even in a no deal scenario, the European Commission have announced that UK travellers will be able to visit without a visa; if anything changes on this we will let you know. From 2021 there are plans to introduce a fee for a visa exemption for European travel similar to the ESTA in the USA. More details will be announced during 2019/20.

Will my European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) still be valid after Brexit?

In the event of a no deal Brexit, EHIC cards will no longer be valid.

Our insurance partner Fish Insurance offers competitive and comprehensive insurance for Europe, UK and worldwide travel. This provides peace of mind for your whole trip, including health, travel money and equipment. With or without Brexit, we always strongly recommended taking insurance cover as soon as your holiday is booked. Read more about Fish Insurance.

Will mobile phone free roaming continue after Brexit?

Some of the major phone companies have advised that they currently have no plans to make changes to their free roaming approach.

I’ve booked a cruise. Will it be affected?

At the moment the government have said there will not be any changes to cruises after Brexit and they will continue as normal. As always we advise that you check your passport validity and any visa requirements for the countries you are planning to visit.

Passports: check if you need to renew

You may need to renew your British passport earlier if you’re travelling after 31 October 2019 and there’s no deal.

On the day you travel, you’ll need your passport to both:

  • have at least 6 months left
  • be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)

If you do not renew it, you may not be able to travel to most EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

You can check whether your passport is valid for the country you’re visiting.

It usually takes 3 weeks if you need to renew your passport. There’s a premium service if you need it sooner.

Healthcare: check you’re covered

Whether there’s a deal or not, you should always get appropriate travel insurance with healthcare cover before you go abroad.

If there’s a deal, you’ll continue to get state-provided healthcare in the EU if you have a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The scheme also covers Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

If there’s no deal, your EHIC card may not be valid.

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.

Flights, ferries, cruises, Eurostar and Eurotunnel, bus and coach services

Even if there’s no deal, the following will be able to run as before:

  • flights
  • ferries and cruises
  • the Eurostar and Eurotunnel
  • bus and coach services between the UK and the EU

If you’re flying:

  • airport security procedures will not change for direct flights to and from the UK
  • there should not be delays at airport security if you change flights in EU airports

Bus and coach services to non-EU countries, for example Switzerland or Andorra, may not be able to run. The government is working to make sure these continue with minimal or no disruption. Check back for updates or contact the company you booked with if you’ve got any questions.

However you travel, check with the company you’re travelling with for any delays or disruption before you leave.

Compensation if your travel is disrupted

Some travel insurance policies only cover certain types of disruption. Check your provider’s terms and conditions to make sure you have the cover you need if your travel is cancelled or delayed.

Your consumer rights will not change, even if there’s no deal. This means that if your travel is cancelled or delayed you may be able to claim a refund or compensation. Check your booking’s terms and conditions to find out more.