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Leaving the EU - What you need to know

Includes links to GOV.UK

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This page tells you how to prepare if you’re planning on travelling to Europe from 1 January 2021. It will be updated if anything changes.

Sign up for email alerts and check travel advice for the country you’re visiting to get the latest information.

Travel to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein will change from 1 January 2021.

Things you may need to do before you go include:

  • check your passport
  • get travel insurance that covers your healthcare

There are more things to do if you’re travelling for business. For example, going to meetings and conferences, providing services (even with a charity), and touring art or music.

Passports: check if you need to renew

You may need to renew your British passport earlier if you’re travelling from 1 January 2021.

It is taking longer than the usual 3 weeks to process applications because of coronavirus (COVID-19). Do not apply unless you need a passport urgently for compassionate reasons, for example if a family member has died, or for government business. Phone the Passport Adviceline to find out what to do.

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 your passport, you may not be able to travel to most EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

These rules do not apply to travel to Ireland. You can continue to use your passport as long as it’s valid for the length of your stay.

Healthcare: check you’re covered

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 31 December 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.

You can read advice on buying travel insurance with the right cover.

 

Entering other countries

Visas for short trips: you will not need one if you’re a tourist

If you’re a tourist, you will not need a visa for short trips to EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. You’ll be able to stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

You may need a visa or permit to stay for longer, to work or study, or for business travel.

Check each country’s travel advice page for information on how to get a visa or permit.

Travel to Ireland will not change from 1 January 2021. You’ll also be able to work in Ireland in the same way as before.



 

Mobile roaming: free roaming may end

From 1 January 2021, the guarantee of free mobile phone roaming throughout the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will end.

Check with your phone operator to find out about any roaming charges you might get from 1 January 2021.

A new law means that you’re protected from getting mobile data charges above £45 without you knowing.

Once you reach £45, you need to opt in to spend more so that you can continue using the internet while you’re abroad. Your phone operator will tell how you can do this.




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