Travelling Post Brexit

With Brexit in full swing and as we enter into the transition period, Voyager Plus Travel Insurance looks at what we’re aware of currently for travel post Brexit and things travellers need to be aware of for their future travel plans.

Posted in Travel on 19 March 2020

It is unlikely the travel industry will change overnight. However, at the time of writing, the transition period is currently expected to end on 31s December 2020. Although the details may change during that time.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance policies that were already purchased for travel post Brexit will still be valid according to the terms and conditions of the policy. Any Single-Trip or Annual Multi-Trip travel insurance policies will remain in place and cover will continue as per the contract at the time of sale.

If you currently use an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), while that is expected to offer some protection during the transition period enabling users access to state provided healthcare, once the transition period ends, EHIC cards issued by the UK will likely no longer be valid. Some countries have even already stated that they may not honour it before 31st December, so check before travelling.

The EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance and does not cover any private medical costs, nor will it not cover the repatriation of you, your baggage and is not valid on cruises. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, ensure the travel insurance policy you purchase can offer protection against this as the EHIC scheme covers pre-existing medical conditions, while many travel insurance policies do not without declaring them.

Always read the policy wording to learn what is and is not included!

Free Travel Movement

After the UK leaves the EU, there is still expected to be a transition period where Brits and European citizens can move freely through both countries for leisure and business purposes. However, once this period comes to an end, UK tourists will be allowed to visit the EU for up to 90 days in every 180 days without a visa, but they will not be able to work or study in these countries. At the time of writing, this should remain the case as long as this agreement is reciprocated and the UK offers visa free travel to EU citizens who want to visit the UK.

There will be no changes to travel to and from the Republic of Ireland, nor will there be changes for British and Irish travellers for travel to and from The Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey.

Some countries are already doing more checks on Passports, so be prepared for queues at Passport Control.

Travel for Pets

After Brexit, you will not be able to use the existing ‘Pet Passport’ scheme. Depending on the Brexit negotiations, the process of travelling with pets following a new scheme could take up to 4 months to apply and complete. However, this depends on how the UK is listed by the EU once the transition period comes to an end.

Part 1 listed country

This is similar to the current arrangement the UK has with the EU, except travellers would need to apply for a UK Pet Passport instead of an EU one, which is the current arrangement. Your pet will need to be microchipped if they aren’t so already and vaccinated against rabies for at least 3 weeks prior to travel.

Part 2 listed country

If the UK becomes listed as a Part 2 listed country, on top of all of the above, you will need to visit your vet at least two weeks prior to travel to obtain an animal health certificate (AHC) confirming your pet is microchipped and vaccinated against rabies. You will need to obtain a new AHC every time you wish to travel with your pet.

Unlisted country

If the UK becomes an unlisted country, in addition to all the requirements needed for Part 1 and Part 2 listings, your pet would also need a blood sample taken 30 days after its last rabies vaccination, which will then be sent to an EU approved blood testing facility. You would then need to wait a minimum of three months from the date the successful blood sample was taken before you can travel and then this information, will be added to your pet’s AHC.

So, ensure you are prepared within plenty of time before your trip to allow time to complete the necessary documents and fulfil any requirements!

Driving in the EU

With the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, there may be some changes in documentation required when driving abroad and you may need one or more International Driving Permits (IDPs) depending on which country(s) you are driving to or through.

You will also need to place GB stickers on the rear of your vehicle, even if your number plate has a GB Identifier and ensure you have your green card (international driving certificate) in hand for driving within the EU, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein. These are usually obtained upon request from your motor insurance provider, however they can take a while to come through, so make sure you leave enough time before you travel for it to arrive.

For UK Citizens living in the EU, you may need to exchange your UK licence for a licence issued by an EU country. In some countries, you may even need to take another driving test.

Post-Brexit Holiday Bookings

While there has been some speculation on the financial security of pre-booked holidays in terms of hotel and flight cancellations, travel delays and the state of the currency exchange rate, there may not be a reason to worry if reasonable steps are taken to ‘Brexit-proof’ you and your holiday.

Book through a travel agent registered with either Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) or the Association of Independent Tour Operators. This will offer the most comprehensive consumer protection available.

Consider booking an all-inclusive package – if you’re concerned about the Euro falling against the Great British Pound, an all-inclusive holiday will lock in the cost of your whole holiday before you travel.

Purchase your Travel Insurance – this should be a high priority on your holiday booking checklist to help offer further protection for your travel plans.

Get Covered with Voyager Plus Travel Insurance

If you are travelling within the EU or further afield this year, it’s important not to forget to buy your travel insurance. Our Voyager Plus Travel Insurance policies include cover for cancellation, missed departure, lost or damaged baggage, emergency medical expenses and more.

This article is for information and entertainment purposes only. It does not constitute advice in any way. The information provided here is correct at the time of writing however please check the latest policy wording for the latest terms, conditions and exclusions.

*All information correct at the time of writing this article.

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