GENERAL NEWS

WHERE THERE'S A WILL THERE'S A WAY– NEW RULES FOR EU TRAVEL

SHEDDING SOME LIGHT ON ALL THIS CONFUSION

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Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes - Turn and face the strange indeed. Brexit may feel daunting at the moment but we human beings are very resourceful and flexible, so never fear, a way through will be found eventually to re-establish mutually beneficial contact with our European neighbours.

Here is a bit of information about some of the changes to EU travel as far as we can make out, but check everything for yourself on the Government Website well before you set off.

Travel to the EU
UK Citizens will obviously still be allowed to travel to the EU. However once they are there they will only be allowed to stay for 90 days in any 180 day period without a visa. This policy will also apply to EU citizens when visiting the UK.

If you need to travel to the EEA (European Economic Area which includes all EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.) it is wise to think ahead and get the newly required documentation, insurance etc in place early, so that you are ready for your trip.

Taking A Car To The EU
If you  are driving or taking a motorcycle to Europe, you will now need to get a Green Card which proves that you have the required motor insurance. You will need to carry a physical copy of your Green Card with you at all times to show if required, a pdf or electronic version on a mobile or tablet will not be accepted. Your motor insurer should be able to provide you with a hard copy of this if requested. Here's some more information on this from the government website. You will also need a GB sticker on your car or motorcycle.

European Health Insurance
If you already hold a EHIC or European Health Insurance Card which was  issued before the end of 2020 this will still be valid in the EU until its expiry date, but not in Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein. Despite this, it is wise to take out comprehensive travel insurance as well, belt and braces, to cover any eventuality. The EHIC was never a comprehensive cover-all and it was always necessary to have travel insurance as well to be on the safe side anyway.

If you are a UK student studying in the EU, a British state pensioner living in the EU or an EU national resident in the UK you can apply for the new GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card). More information is on the government website.

Passport Expiry
Your current passport will remain valid until its expiry date and when you get a new one it will be a blue British passport not an EU one.

Borders
When you get to Border Control in an EU country now you may be asked to show your return or onward ticket so that they can check that you are planning to leave the country you are entering, and the duration of your stay. Also you may be asked to prove how much money you have to show that you have enough with you to cover your intended stay in that country. You will also obviously no longer be able to use the EU nationals lane at passport control.

Visas for Holidays or Short Trips
A bit of good news is that if you are a tourist going on a holiday to most EU countries, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you will not need a visa and can stay for up to 90 days in any 180 days without one. If you are going to be working, studying or travelling for business in Europe however, you may need a permit or visa so check the travel advice of the country you are travelling to, to find this information out.

EU Travel Checklist
So before you travel to the EU now you need to check a few things well in advance to make sure you have the right documents to be allowed to travel and will not be turned away at the border:
  • Check your passport and make sure it has more than 6 months to run on it before expiry as it will not be accepted if it runs out imminently*
  • Make sure that you have comprehensive travel insurance which covers healthcare (A physical paper copy to produce if requested)
  • Check that you have the correct driving documents to drive in the EU (A physical paper copy to produce if requested)
  • If you are taking pets you need to contact your vet 4 months before travel or earlier to get the right paperwork, vaccinations etc for your pet to be allowed into Europe (A physical paper copy of all documents)
*Be aware that if you renewed your passport before its 10 year expiry date the extra months from the old passport may have been added to the new passport, meaning that it will last for longer than the statutory ten years. However, the extra months might not be included in the 6 months your passport still has to run – clear as mud? Check the government visit Europe website as well to make sure that you have all the latest up to date information.

Well there we go, a few pointers for EU travel in general, but by no means fully comprehensive so check out the government website for further information, changes and updates. There is specific information about travel and Covid 19 on the government website too, so check that out too, we haven't included it here as it is such a rapidly changing situation and could be out of date on a daily basis.

If you have any information or advice to add which might be helpful to others please email us at news@wemoto.com or drop us a message on Facebook. Thank you and stay safe.

Posted by Lucy England
for Wemoto News on 15 January 2021 in General News

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