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.
UK passport holders will need to have at least six months and not over 10 years validity. If you need to renew your passport– do it as soon as you can. For countries that are in the EU but not in the Schengen area, entry requirements may vary. Travel to Ireland is subject to separate Common Travel Area arrangements which will remain the same after the UK leaves the EU.
If you have renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra-months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed.
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 to typical activity allowed under business travel, so it’s important to review individual country definitions. By working with our expert visa countries, we ensure travellers have visa support whenever needed.
UK-based airlines will be able to continue flights to EU destinations until at least the end of 2020 under the long-standing “open-skies” agreement within Europe. Beyond the transition period, the European Commission has stated that it will allow UK airlines to continue operating services into the European Union for a period of six months after 31 December in the event of a no-deal Brexit, subject to reciprocal rights being granted to EU carriers flying to the UK.
The UK government has previously indicated that connectivity will be maintained, with the UK Transport Secretary stating: “We expect the EU to bring forward contingency measures, as they’ve done before, to ensure flights will continue if negotiations are unsuccessful. Of course, we would look to reciprocate that”.
We expect increased delays to border checks at airports and while using Eurostar. It is important for travellers to plan ahead to ensure enough time for any delays during their trip.
For travel between Britain and Ireland, the common travel area (CTA) predates EU regulations and as such travel between Britain and Ireland will be largely unchanged.
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
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.
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.
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.
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: