Travel after Brexit: key FAQs for visiting the EU

Please note: travel restrictions remain in place owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Be sure to check the latest travel advice and explore current COVID rules & regulations by country.

Kirsten Henton

Kirsten Henton

Travelling from the UK to the EU has changed and we want to help you plan and prepare for your travels in 2021/2022.

Travelling to the European Union after Brexit © RZ - Adobe Stock Image
Travelling to the European Union after Brexit © RZ - Adobe Stock Image

Brexit FAQs

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 will remain 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 for at least six months
  • 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 will continue to run as normal.

Looking for more information? As well as advice from the government, it's worth checking ABTA's handy guide to travel after Brexit too.

Can I drive in the EU after Brexit?

Yes; although you will need to take some extra documentation whether you're hiring a car or taking your own vehicle:

  • check to see if your destination requires you to have an International Driving Permit (IDP)
  • a 'green card' if you're taking your own vehicle
  • a GB sticker for your own car

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?

In the long run, it is likely that data roaming charges will apply although it appears, initially at least, that the major mobile networks are not implementing new data roaming charges. Without a doubt, the best advice is to check with your provider to find out about new roaming charges and ensure you do not incur unexpected costs.

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 January 2021.

More about Europe

  • Top deals & discounts
  • Europe weather overview
  • Europe climate averages by month
  • More destinations
  • Best time to go to Europe
  • Europe 5-day weather forecast

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Kirsten Henton

Kirsten Henton
Article updated on Friday 1st January 2021 in: Europe Travel tips

Related posts

Back to Blog Top ^

*affiliate links: find out how we are funded and why this helps us remain free to use.