UK and EU need a reset after threat to Northern Ireland trade, says UK's Gove

On 1 January 2021, the Brexit transition agreement between the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) ended, and the UK officially became a third-party nation outside of the European bloc. Brexit brings a number of changes for the UK, such as a greater degree of sovereignty. 

Equally, the regulations for Brits travelling to Europe and vice versa have now been revised too. So what are the rules governing travel to and from the UK and the EU, post-Brexit? Well, here’s the lowdown via online eVisa provider Byevisa.

Travellers can visit UK or EU for up to 90 days each Post-Brexit

At the time of writing, international travel between the UK and the EU is prohibited except for essential journeys because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, once we’re all vaccinated and life returns to normal, the regulations to travel between the British Isles and the continent are as follows.

Chiefly, you’ll be able to visit for up 90 days in a 180-day period. So for example, if you’ve got a second home in Spain or France, you can travel there from January to March, then travel again from July to September at the start of the next 180-day period.

Fortunately, for the moment you won’t require a visa or any new travel documentation to go to the EU. Instead, you’ll only require your passport, which it’s recommended has at least six months’ validity remaining from your planned entry date.

UK’s current burgundy passports remain valid until expired

Also usefully, you can use your existing burgundy passport for as long as it’s valid. Only when your passport’s about to expire do you apply for the UK’s new blue one, and it’s recommended that you apply with at least six months’ validity on your current passport remaining.

So once the pandemic’s behind us and we’re able to travel again, the regulations guiding hopping between the UK and the EU are for the moment straightforward!

UK and EU to introduce online visa waiver systems from 2022/3

Importantly, though, looking to 2022/3, both the UK and the EU are planning to introduce electronic visa waiver systems which we’ll have to apply for to travel. In the case of the EU, this upcoming system is called the ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System), while the UK is yet to announce the official details of its version.

With the ETIAS, Brits journeying to the Schengen Zone can stay for up to 90 days in a 180-day period, the same as under current rules. Each waiver is valid for three years from the date of issue, or until your passport expires, so you won’t have to apply each time you intend to visit the Costa Blanca or spend a week in Cyprus. It’s thought that the ETIAS will cost 7 EUR per person.

ETIAS applications to be made online, approval usually instant

Moreover, although these visa waiver systems will add a bit of bureaucracy to future UK/EU travel, applying looks set to be simple. How these systems work is, you enter your personal details and passport information into an online form.

Then, the authorities will check your details against their health and security databases and, in most cases, approval will be instant. You’ll receive an email notification and, on the plus side, won’t even have to print your waiver.

Instead, your travel authorisation will be electronically linked to your passport, which will be scanned at customs as usual. At this point, it’s just a matter of packing your bags, catching your flight and bon voyage!

UK driving licenses to stay valid, no plans for new roaming charges

Regarding other details about travelling post-Brexit, UK driving licenses will remain valid, which makes life easier. That said, you’ll now need your V5C logbook and valid insurance to hit the road on the continent.

Meanwhile, free mobile roaming between the UK and the EU is no longer guaranteed post-Brexit. Fortunately, however, all four of the UK’s main telecoms providers have said that they have no plans to reintroduce roaming charges. So while you can likely continue to call home while you’re on holiday without facing extra charges, it may be worth checking with your provider.

With this information in mind, you know the travel regulations between the UK and the EU post-Brexit. This will enable you to plan your holidays with peace of mind, so you can spend more time thinking about what you’ll see and do, and less time thinking about the rules.


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