Travelling to the EU? See what’s changed

Added 16/09/2021

It’s likely to have been a while since you travelled to an EU country, so you may not be aware that things have changed since Brexit and the end of our transition period. 

There are new rules for UK travellers going to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein including passport validity, access to healthcare, taking a vehicle or pet, how long you can stay and travelling with food or drink products.

Passport validity

Your passport must have at least 3 months to run from the day of your return and have been issued less than 10 years ago.  

There is a handy tool on the gov.uk website which you can use to check whether your passport will be valid:
https://www.gov.uk/check-a-passport-travel-europe

Healthcare

If you are travelling to an EU country your EHIC will still be valid if you have one, or you can apply for the new GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card) if your EHIC has expired.

The EHIC/GHIC is no longer accepted in Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.

Apply for a GHIC:
https://www.gov.uk/global-health-insurance-card

Driving in the EU

You may need an international drivers permit to drive in some EU countries.

If you are taking your own vehicle, you will need a GB sticker (or a UK sticker from 28 September 2021) and a green card from your insurance company.

Taking your pet to the EU

The pet passport scheme can no longer be used. You will need to apply for an animal health certificate which can take about 1 month.

How long you can stay

If you are a tourist you will not need a visa for short trips to most EU countries, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.  You will be able to stay for 90 days in any 180 day period. 

Different rules will apply in Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania.

You may need a visa if you are planning to stay longer, work or study. 

Check the FCDO travel advice page for specific information on visas and permits:
https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Food and drink products

You can no longer take any of the following into the EU (this includes in a packed lunch):
•    Meat or products containing meat
•    Milk or dairy products

There are exceptions for a small amount of powdered baby milk or food.

Further information

For full details of what’s changed visit:
https://www.gov.uk/visit-eu-switzerland-norway-iceland-liechtenstein

Travel insurance for EU trips

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office recommend that you have travel insurance in place when you visit an EU country.  It is also important to ensure that all pre-existing medical conditions are covered.