Travelling to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein
Travel to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein changed from 1 January 2021.
This includes travel to these countries by air, sea, coach, rail or Eurotunnel shuttle. Your legal rights as a passenger stayed the same.
GOV.UK has guidance on travelling to EU countries from 1 January 2021 on this.
To travel to an EU country, you'll need your passport to both:
- have at least 6 months left
- be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)
You can go to GOV.UK to:
- check whether your passport is valid for the country you're visiting
- renew your passport
These rules do not apply to travel to Ireland. You can continue to use your passport as long as it's valid for the length of your stay.
Entering other countries
GOV.UK has more information on what you need to when entering other countries.
- things you might need to show at border control
- visas you might need
- taking food or drink into EU countries
- taking plants and plant products into EU countries
You must make sure that you have suitable insurance and healthcare cover, especially if you have a pre-existing condition.
Using an EHIC from 1 January 2021
UK-issued European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) are still valid and you can still use them when travelling to the EU, until they expire.
Once your EHIC has expired, you'll be able to replace it with a UK Global Health Insurance Card.
UK nationals living and working in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein on 31 December 2020, are still able to use an EHIC. The EHIC must be issued in the country they're living in.
UK Pensioners and people getting UK benefits
UK issued EHICs can still be used by:
- UK state-pensioners (S1 holders) living in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein on 31 December 2020
- people getting a UK benefit while living in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein on 31 December 2020
UK students studying in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein on 31 December 2020, will need to apply for a new EHIC if their course continues beyond 2020.
EU nationals living in the UK
If you're an EU national living in the UK you're able to use EHICs for travel. But you may need to reapply for one.
You can find more information on applying for a new EHIC on the NHS website.
You can also find information about accessing healthcare where you live if you're a UK national living in EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.
You should check with your phone operator to find out about any roaming charges you might get when travelling in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
You can find more information on mobile roaming on GOV.UK.
Driving in the EU
If you're planning to drive in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and have a UK Driving Licence, you may need to apply for and carry an International Driving Permit.
You'll also need to:
- apply for and carry a Green Card to prove you have third party insurance
- get a GB sticker (even if your number plate already shows GB with a Euro symbol)
On or after 28 September 2021
You will need to use a UK sticker, not a GB sticker.
Travelling with pets to the EU and Northern Ireland
You'll need to make additional health preparations and will need extra documents to travel with your pet cat, dog or ferret to the EU and Northern Ireland. This includes assistance dogs.
To travel to the EU and Northern Ireland, pet owners must:
- microchip their dog, cat or ferret
- vaccinate their dog, cat or ferret against rabies (pets must be at least 12 weeks old before they can be vaccinated)
- wait 21 days after the vaccination before travelling
- treat dogs against tapeworm 24-120 hours before arriving in another country, if they're travelling to a tapeworm free country
- visit their vet to get an animal health certificate (AHC) for their pet, no more than 10 days before travelling to the EU. You'll need a new AHC for each trip.
Your pet will also need to enter the EU and Northern Ireland through a designated Travellers Point of Entry.
GOV.UK has more information and advice on travelling with pets.
Travelling for business
As well as the actions all travellers need to take, there are extra actions if you're travelling to the EU for business.
You can find out what you need to do to travel to the EU for business on GOV.UK.
Travelling as a haulier
Hauliers and commercial drivers will need the correct documents to drive in the EU should the UK leave without a deal.
Hauliers will be need to go through customs checks. It's the responsibility of traders to make sure that the right paperwork is in place provided for the goods being carried.
You can find:
- details of what hauliers need to do on GOV.UK.
You can find more information on travelling to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein on:
- FindBusinessSupport.gov.scot has information for businesses
- ABTA - Brexit advice for travellers
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