Plan ahead if you intend travelling to the EU in 2021

The UK is leaving the EU single market and customs union and the end of the transition period will affect citizens, businesses, as well as travel to and from the EU.

Robin Tudor, Liverpool John Lennon Airport’s Head of PR & Communications outlines why anyone looking to travel to the EU from 1st January 2021 will need to plan ahead…

Here at Liverpool John Lennon Airport we have flights to a host of European cities and expect to see passengers travelling on business or leisure head off to Europe as usual post-Brexit. However, with the UK poised for a new start now we have left the EU, the UK Government is preparing for the end of the transition period by increasing border controls and boosting the customs sector. As a consequence, anyone travelling to the EU will need to take action to prepare.

Travel to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein will change from 1 January 2021 and travellers should be aware that they may need to take the following action before they travel:

1. Check if you need to renew your passport. On the day you travel, you’ll need your passport to be valid for at least 6 months and be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left). If you do not renew your passport, you may not be able to travel to most EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

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.

2. Check that you are covered for healthcare abroad. You should always get appropriate travel insurance with healthcare cover before you go abroad since the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will not be valid from 1 January 2021. It’s particularly important you get travel insurance with the right cover if you have a pre-existing medical condition. This is because the EHIC scheme covers pre-existing conditions, while many travel insurance policies do not.

3. Check you have the right driving documents. If you want to use a hire car abroad in the EU, you may need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in some countries and extra documents from 1 January 2021.

In addition to these examples, there are more things to do if you’re travelling for business. For example, going to meetings and conferences or providing services so it will be wise to look into this in more detail too.

These are just some of the changes to be aware of, but for more information on the above examples and more see https://www.gov.uk/transition