As Brexit day finally arrives nearly 4 years after the referendum, what does this mean for UK holidaymakers travelling to mainland Europe?
No-one could deny that the plans for the UK to leave the EU have been fraught and paved with uncertainty and, with Brexit day now upon us, there are many questions that still remain unanswered around what changes lie ahead. With many people already starting to plan their 2020 holidays, what do travellers need to know about travelling to Europe post-Brexit?
At present, Europe is the top destination for UK holidaymakers and attracts more than 58 million trips each year. With budget airlines enabling cheaper travel to the continent, many Brits opt for the summer climes of mainland Europe above a holiday at home to the likes of Devon or Cornwall. With so many holidaymakers travelling across Europe for their holidays, there is understandably some concerns over what Brexit could mean. To provide some clarity, ABTA the UK’s travel industry trade association has issued some advice about what to expect.
Following the withdrawal from the EU, the UK will then enter an 11-month long ‘transition period’ up until the end of 2020. During this time, everything will essentially operate as normal. This means that Brits will be able to travel just as they had before and use EU gates at border controls, right up until December 31st.
Planes, trains, and automobiles
The ABTA has confirmed that if a deal is agreed, then flights to the UK will operate just as they would before, as will trains such as the Eurostar which travels via the channel tunnel to Paris and Amsterdam. This can also be said for ferries and cruise ships – in most cases, they operate under international maritime law and so will be unaffected by EU changes.
For Brits looking to either drive their car in Europe or hire cars once they are abroad, as long as you have a full UK driving license then you don’t currently need an additional licence to drive in the EU. Equally, the ABTA has confirmed that you will not need an International Driving Permit, a GB sticker or a Green Card for car insurance.
British travellers will still be able to travel without a visa after Brexit and the European Health Insurance Card will still enable Brits to access state medical care up until the end of 2020. However, to ensure peace of mind when travelling, it is recommended that holidaymakers always take out comprehensive travel insurance, as there are limitations to the EHIC card.
Complete travel insurance will not only ensure that your medical bills are covered in the event of you falling ill, it will also cover you if your belongings are lost or stolen or if your flight is cancelled or delayed.