​What Brexit means for travel in and out of the UK

Thu 18th March, 2021

While coronavirus travel restrictions are top of mind for most people, the reality is that another force is at play when it comes to movement in and out of the UK. As of January 1st 2021, new travel guidelines have come into effect to accommodate the UK’s departure from the EU. But what exactly do the new rules entail? We unpack the key takeaways from the new system below.

I am from the EU/EEA or Swiss region. Do I need a visa?

Holders of EU, EEA or Swiss passports do not require a passport to travel to the UK for a holiday or short vacation provided their passport is valid for the duration of their trip. There are however restrictions coming into force later in the use of EU, EEA or Swiss ID cards. These forms of identification will only be permitted under specific conditions such as having settled status or being a healthcare visitor. The full requirements can be found here.

Irish citizens are still permitted to enter and live in the UK.

How long can I stay in the UK without a visa if I have EU/EEA or Swiss citizenship?

Stays of up to six months are permissible without a visa and travelers will be permitted to engage in a number of activities, some related to business such as events, meetings and conferences. To work or study however, you may need to apply for a visa. Please consult the points-based immigration system developed by UK authorities to determine your need for a visa.

Is travel insurance necessary for EU citizens visiting the UK?

While European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) can still be utilized, all visitors to the UK are encouraged to have health insurance for medical emergencies during a visit. This advice would have read the same prior to Britain’s departure from the EU! The National Health Service in the UK provides a great emergency service in most cases but taking out private insurance will provide peace of mind.

Can I bring my car to the UK when travelling from the EU?

While car owners from the UK will need a green card and a GB sticker, EU drivers can head onto UK roads under the same conditions as pre-Brexit. While this is subject to change in the future, there are no concrete plans in place as yet.

Does Brexit impact the movement of pets into the UK?

The free movement of pets between the EU and UK will now be subjected to new requirements. Owners will need to provide an animal health certificate whenever traveling with a pet. Pet passports are no longer valid as of January 2021.

Has Brexit impacted passport holders from outside of the EU?

There is no impact on travelers coming to the UK from outside of the EU/EEA and Swiss regions.

As the world opens up again following individual country restrictions those moving between the EU and UK will need to be mindful of slightly different arrangements to before. If planning a trip to London, be sure to check out the centrally located Mayflower Hotel for your stay. Our team is always happy to assist and answer any questions you may have about your time in the UK. View our latest offers here.