What travellers need to know in case of no-deal Brexit

British travel guidance company ABTA has answered frequently asked questions about travel after the UK leaves the European Union

While the United Kingdom will definitely undergo divorce with the European Union on 29 March 2019, the exact conditions of Brexit remain unclear.

These guidelines might be handy for travellers in case the UK and EU split up without a particular deal —  Alexandre Rotenberg / Shutterstock What travellers need to know in case of no-deal Brexit ABTA
These guidelines might be handy for travellers in case the UK and EU split up without a deal — Alexandre Rotenberg / Shutterstock

However, many Brits are already planning for their holidays next year which leads to a plethora of questions.

That is why British travel guidance company ABTA has developed a list of guidelines that might be handy for travellers in case the UK and EU split up without a deal.

Passport should be valid for at least six months

Passengers travelling to the EU after 29 March should ensure that they have at least six months left on their passport on the date of their arrival, ABTA said.

The information provided by the UK’s government also suggests that passengers should check when their passport was renewed.

Passports should be valid for at least six months — Shutterstock  What travellers need to know in case of no-deal Brexit ABTA
Passports should be valid for at least six months — Shutterstock

“If you renewed a 10-year adult passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months will not count,” the government says on its official website.  

The new rules will apply to passports issued by the UK, Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey.

Before travelling or booking their holidays, passengers can also check their passport online.

However, the six-month rule doesn’t apply to Ireland.

Flights will remain in a transition period

Many passengers are afraid their flights might be cancelled amid the divorce, and rightfully so.

In case a deal is reached, flights between UK and EU will be under a transition period until December 2020.

Luckily, similar measures will apply in case of no-deal Brexit, as “the European Commission has said that UK airlines will still be able to operate flights between the UK and the EU”, ABTA said.

Visa-free travel might still be available

Even under the no-deal Brexit scenario, visas-free travel might remain possible — Shutterstock What travellers need to know in case of no-deal Brexit ABTA
Even under the no-deal Brexit scenario, visa-free travel might remain possible — Shutterstock

Recently, the European Commission has announced that the Union wouldn’t require visa from Brits if the United Kingdom adopts similar measures towards European citizens.

In a statement published on 13 November, the Commission said that if the UK implements reciprocal visa-free travel “it would mean that UK citizens would not need a visa when travelling to the Schengen area for short stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period”.

European health insurance cards might become invalid

Passengers should pay attention to their travel insurance — Lenscap Photography / Shutterstock What travellers need to know in case of no-deal Brexit ABTA
Passengers should pay attention to their travel insurance — Lenscap Photography / Shutterstock

All members of the EU are granted the European health insurance card (EHIC) which allows them to access medical assistance in any member state. If there is no deal, Brits won’t have the option any longer.

It is highly recommended to secure appropriate travel insurance and to check that it covers passenger’s current circumstances, including any medical conditions.

Drivers might need international driving permits

A no-deal Brexit could bring yet another administrative burden — the end of European driving licences for Brits.

“UK travellers looking to drive in the EU on or after 29 March 2019 may need to apply for the relevant International Driving Permit,” ABTA says.

“These cost £5.50 ($7) and are available directly from the AA, the RAC or the Post Office. The Government is working to extend the network of Post Offices where you can apply for an International Driving Permit, and has plans to roll these out in more branches across the UK from 1 February 2019.”

Drivers travelling in their UK cars might also need a physical green card to drive the vehicles within the EU.

Pets will still be welcome

 Travelling with pets might require more paperwork — Shutterstock What travellers need to know in case of no-deal Brexit ABTA
Travelling with pets might require even more paperwork — Shutterstock

Animal lovers will still be able to take their companions with them on a trip within the EU. However, the no-deal scenario will require more paperwork. Passengers with pets should discuss preparations for their travel with an official veterinarian at least four months in advance of the date they wish to travel.

Current full rules for pet travels are available on the UK government’s website.

Data roaming might become more expensive

While mobile internet has become a travel necessity, data can become more costly for UK travellers while visiting Europe.

Currently, the Union guarantees that the price for data services remains the same in any member state as in the country of the service provider. If the UK leaves without a deal these rules will no longer apply.

However, some of the UK providers have announced they may continue to offer this benefit to their customers. Passengers should check the pricing conditions of their provider before travelling.