News & Insights

Passenger travel to EU

Following Brexit, Imelda Reddington, Head of Immigration, considers passenger travel to EU for British citizens.

On 31 January 2020, the UK began its withdrawal from the European Union with trade negotiations continuing until 31 December 2020 marking the end of the transition period.

As a result, the regulations which governed free movement of people, goods and services within all member states of the European Union now apply differently to the UK. This article focuses on various modes of transportation from the UK into the EU and assumes that the reader is a British national that resides in the UK.

In addition to the below, all travellers should conduct the following checks regardless of mode of transport:-

  1. On the day of travel, the traveller’s passport needs to have at least 6 months remaining before the expiration date. It must also be less than 10 years old even if there are more than 6 months remaining.
  2. European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) will continue to be valid when travelling to an EU country although it is advised to check any existing insurance policies in place to ensure they still cover travel in EU countries.
  3. Short trips of up to 90-days in any 180-day period will not require a visa. Any stay which exceeds this allowance will require a visa or permit.

Flying to the EU from the UK

Travellers flying from the UK to a EU country will not experience any difference to the usual security screening process. They will be able to transfer to onward flights at EU airports without any additional security screening.

Where travellers use an EU registered airline for their journey, the airline will be bound by and follow EU law for flights to and from the EU.

Travelling to the EU from the UK by any other means

The above includes travel via the Eurostar, the Eurotunnel, bus/coach and/or by sea. The UK has adopted EU regulation on travel by the above means and therefore travellers’ will be entitled to the same rights – these remain unchanged as a result of Brexit.

Please note that travellers that intend to drive may now need an international driving permit if they hold a paper driving licence or a licence issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man.

With regard to travelling with a pet, travellers will no longer be able to use the current pet passport scheme. Government advice is to prepare at least a month in advance as travelling pets will require an animal health certificate confirming that various vaccinations have been done.

Please note that all of the above currently applies in addition to any COVID-19 restrictions. Travellers relying on public transport should check the respective websites for their transport provider to check travel information and scheduled services.