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Travel is different this year for UK citizens travelling to the EU

UK citizens traveling to Europe for their summer holidays, vaccination program permitting, need to prepare differently given post Brexit changes. This is because international travel is no longer fluid for British passport holders in the EU and necessitates different preparation.

Here are our top 9 tips for a Brexit ready Covid-19 prepared holiday



  1. The validity of your passport
    Start with checking the expiry date on your passport. From day one of the journey you, and each member of your family, will need a passport less than 10 years old, but still valid for at least 6 months. Different rules apply when travelling into Ireland. For more on traveling in Ireland read here.
    Now is a great time to begin the process for renewing passports as once travel restrictions reduce, passport issuing services around the world are likely to be very busy. You won’t want to pay for priority processing.
  2. Medical Care
    Establish if you are eligible for medical care in the countries to be visited and transited through as you may need travel insurance. Even minor complaints and simple treatments can be very costly abroad.
    European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) are valid if you’re travelling to an EU country. Travel to Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein requires insurance cover, however some emergency treatment may also be covered while in Norway.
    Anyone can have an illness or accident at any time, and you won’t be at home, so take care to consider your circumstances. More advice on buying travel insurance with the right cover.
  3. Pet travel
    If your fur babies are travelling with you they will also need the right documentation and vaccinations. Get them holiday ready by researching. More advice for taking your pet dog, cat or ferret abroad.
  4. Carrying food, plants and plant products in the EU
    Consider what you pack. You are unable to take meat, milk or products containing them into the EU, although there are some exceptions for infant and pet food and people with special medical needs. Visit rules about taking plants and plant products into the EU if you are thinking of packing any plants or plant products.
  5. Border control
    Remember when you travel to the EU you are entering another country, so be prepared to show you have the means to leave again and you have enough money for your stay. Travelling for other than a holiday may involve applying for a visa and meeting that country’s immigration rules. Each country has unique immigration, border and custom rules.
  6. Local laws and customs
    Each country you arrive in, transit through have separate law and local customs to be respectful of and a little study about the places you intend to visit may pay dividends. It is a great way to extend your enjoyment of your holiday build up, expectations and plans.
  7. Covid-19
    Meet all Covid-19 safety protocols and read the advice for travelling during the pandemic.
  8. Stay Current
    Covid-19 has taught us that our plans can change at a moment’s notice. Ensure you stay connected so you are aware of the most current travel restrictions, weather events, vaccination and health requirements. Have a plan B.
  9. Keep safe while on holiday
    Finally, remember you are not at home, behave as a guest and don’t forget to enjoy the journey.

Disclaimer: Mary Noonan is Heartland Immigration Ltd Managing Director and her views, expressed in this article, are not intended to replace the professional service provided to individual migrants by a Licensed or Registered Immigration Adviser or Migration Agent.