Travelling after Brexit

Putting aside party politics and media coverage, we want to share a clear and fact-based assessment of Brexit, and more specifically, the impact on Capita Travel and Events, our customers, our partners and the world of business travel.

A trade deal has now been agreed between the EU/EEA, and with it comes a feeling of greater certainty. But there are areas that have changed, and thus impact how you travel to Europe. We continue to review industry advice, products and services to ensure any travel disruption as a result of Brexit is limited in 2021 and beyond.

Remember that we’re here for you 24/7, 365 days each year. So if you’re uncertain or can’t find what you’re looking for, get in touch with our experts.

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First and foremost, if you need to renew your passport, it's time to bump that to the top of your to-do list. If you're travelling to or around the EU, you'll need to have at least six months, but no more than 10 years left on their passport. We say this because if you've renewed your passport before the previous one expired, extra months might've been added to its expiry date that wouldn't be recognised when travelling to the EU. For countries that are in the EU but not in the Schengen area, entry requirements can vary. Travel to Ireland is subject to separate Common Travel Area arrangements.

For real-time information, check rules country entry and transit rules before your trip travel on the Government website of your destination. In some cases, you'll need to complete pre-travel documents or take tests days before travel.


Cross-border travel

You should prepare for increased delays to border checks at airports and while using Eurostar. It's important for travellers to plan ahead to ensure enough time for any delays during their trip.

If you're travelling to the EU, you'll need to check your passport and plan for any visas and permits.

Take a look at the passport and visa information under this section to help you prepare.

The UK Government has released a page for British citizens travelling for business to countries in the EEA and Switzerland. The page lists most EU countries and guidance when travelling for work. It also offers a list of exemption activities that mean a visa or permit wouldn't be required.

General business travel will be permitted visa-free for travel to the EU/EEA for a maximum period of 90 days in a rolling 180-day period.

General business travel is permitted visa-free but no standard definition applies across the whole of the EU. This means that some countries may class elements of business travel as “work, which requires a visa. Each of the EU/EEA member states has a different definition of typical activity allowed under business travel, so it’s important to review individual country definitions.

If you're still unsure if you need a visa or other documents, we've teamed up with our partners at CIBT - the largest travel visa company in the world - to offer our customers a tool to quickly and comprehensively outline EU document needs through a simple online assessment. CIBT will provide information on what's needed prior to a trip to ensure travellers comply with requirements and avoid disruption.

To find out if either; you qualify as a business visitor and may travel without a visa/work permit, or if you need a more in-depth consultation with CIBT to discuss your travel plans in more detail - book an assessment below.


Travelling by car

From 1 January 2021, UK drivers will require new documentation when travelling by car. Documentation and considerations include:

  • International Driving Permit (IDP) when driving or hiring a car. Different permits are available depending upon the country, so travellers should review which permit is required.

  • Travellers will be required to display a GB sticker on your car when driving in the EU/EEA.

  • Green Card for UK car insurance to be applicable in the EU/EEA: If you’re taking your own vehicle, the Green Card (or International Motor Insurance Card) shows that you have the minimum insurance cover needed by law in the country you're visiting.


The UK Government is currently seeking assurances from EU member states that they will recognise the UK photocard driving licence of visiting UK motorists without requiring an International Driving Permit


More considerations

From the beginning of the trade deal on 1 January 2021, there are a number of considerations that you should be aware of. We will continue to update the details below as further information comes to light.


European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) issued before the end of 2020 can still be used until their expiry date for medical care in the EU. Following this the UK Government have announced the introduction of the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which replaces EHIC and ensures UK residents’ rights to emergency and medically necessary healthcare will continue when travelling in the EU.  Apply for a free GHIC card here. Travellers should always take appropriate travel insurance steps before international travel to cover possible healthcare requirements and check that it covers your circumstances and journey details - including any medical conditions.


Currently legislation guarantees free phone roaming throughout the EU, Iceland, Leichtenstein and Norway. Following Brexit, some mobile operators have stated that they have no current plans to change their mobile roaming policies after Brexit. You should check with your mobile phone operator to determine if your charges will change after Brexit.

Mobile roaming

Companies can continue to use the EU VAT refund system to claim a VAT refund on expenses incurred before 1 January 2021 in EU member states, until 11pm on 31 March 2021. Following this date, Government advice states that UK businesses will continue to be able to claim refunds of VAT from EU member states but that claims will be processed using the existing processes for non-EU businesses. Find out how to make a claim here.

This process varies across the EU, and businesses will need to make themselves aware of the processes in the individual countries where they incur costs and want to claim a refund. Find out what the process is for each country on here. 

VAT Reclaim

Your consumer rights will not change from 1 January 2021. This means that if your travel is cancelled or delayed you may be able to claim a refund or compensation.

Disruption compensation

Travel Checklist

The amount of information being shared about Brexit can often be overwhelming. We've created a handy one-page checklist of considerations to review before travelling.

Useful links

All information in this document is provided as guidance. For specifics on how travel will be impacted, please regularly visit the following useful links:customs checks, and as a result, possible delays:


Brexit transition site 

The latest government news, announcements and a variety of support for businesses during the Brexit transition.


This site provides the latest Brexit updates impacting the hospitality industry from The HBAA


The BTA offer an updated Brexit document as new information comes to light.

Here for you 24/7

We're here for our customers around the clock.  If you have any questions or require support, get in touch with our expert teams.

Passport renewals

Renew or replace your adult passport

IDP Checker

If you're driving abroad you may need an International Driving Permit. Check and obtain it here.

Driving abroad

.Gov site which outlines the rules, requirements and guidance of driving abroad.