Travel after Brexit: key FAQs for visiting the EU
Travelling from the UK to the EU has changed and we want to help you plan and prepare for your travels in 2021/2022.
Do I need a visa to travel to Europe?
No, you do not need a visa for short trips to most EU countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. UK travellers will be able to stay for up to 90 days within a 180-day period.
If you're planning to stay longer, work or study you will likely need a visa. This will vary depending on where you're planning to go so it's best to check the entry requirements for your specific destination.
Do I need a visa to travel to Ireland?
No; entry to the Republic of Ireland remains the same. Despite the fact that Ireland is in the EU, people from the UK and Ireland are free to travel to each other's countries for as long as they like without any restrictions.
Do I need to renew my passport?
On the day you're travelling, you will need to ensure that your passport is both:
- valid for at least three months on the date you plan to return to the UK
- less than 10 years old (regardless of validity period)
If you do not have both of these ticked, you will likely be unable to travel to most EU countries as well as Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland.
Please note: the above passport rules do not apply when travelling to Ireland; instead, your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay.
Do I have to join a different border queue when entering the EU?
Yes; you're no longer allowed to enter a country via the 'EU nationals' lane at border control. In addition, you may also be asked for proof of exit with a return ticket and be required to provide proof of funds for the duration of your stay.
Are flights, ferries, trains & coaches to Europe still operating?
Yes; flights, ferries, trains - Eurostar and Eurotunnel - and coaches between the UK and the EU are continuing to run as normal.
Can I drive in the EU after Brexit?
Yes; although you will need to take some extra documentation such as a 'green card' from your insurance company and a GB sticker if you're taking your own vehicle.
The EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein do not require drivers from the UK to have an International Driving Permit (IDP) provided you have a photocard driving licence issued in the UK.
Can I still use my EHIC?
Yes and no; if your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is still valid, then you may still use it until it expires. However, most people will not be entitled to a new card.
The UK government has launched a new scheme designed to offer free or reduced-rate medical treatment across 27 EU member states in the form of the UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).
It should also cover many pre-existing conditions although it is vital to check specific details. The new scheme will not apply in Iceland, Switzerland or Liechtenstein, while a different deal has been reached with Norway. You can apply for your free health card today.
Please note, the GHIC is not intended to replace standard travel insurance. You can read more government advice on choosing the right travel insurance policy.
Prepare for any weather: if there's one thing we can help you with it's the weather. Don't forget to check out our climate guides if you're thinking ahead and see our five-day forecasts if you're heading to the European Union within the coming few days.
Can I take my pet to Europe?
Yes but the Pet Passport Scheme has come to an end and you will now need an Animal Health Certificate instead, which follows a different process. Find out more about travelling to the EU with your pet via the gov.uk website.
Is there still free mobile data roaming?
The best advice is to check with your provider to find out about EU roaming charges to ensure you do not incur unexpected costs.
Some companies have already announced plans to charge for roaming in the EU from the start of 2022.
Stay tuned: get the latest up-to-date government advice on travel and so much more via gov.uk/transition.
Please note: all information correct as of August 2021.
More about Europe
Get your weekly fix of holiday inspiration from some of the world's best travel writers plus save on your next trip with the latest exclusive offers
We promise not to share your details
*affiliate links: find out how we are funded and why this helps us remain free to use.