Goodbye, Britain: What the Brexit Agreement will change for travel

Goodbye, Britain
What the Brexit Agreement will change for travel

Brexit will not change too much for travelers destined for the UK. The most important change concerns – but not immediately – the travel document required. Many rights remain with vacationers.

The Brexit transition phase will end at the end of 2020. Now the new trade agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom (UK) will take effect. But how does this affect people with travel plans to the British Isles?

Passport instead of identity card

The most important change will not take effect until autumn: from October 1, 2021, a passport will be required to enter Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as the European Consumer Center Germany (EVZ) explains. The citizens’ office at your home town issues the passport. The amount of the costs depends on the age of the applicant, the number of pages and the processing time.

The identity card, on the other hand, will only be accepted for entry until September 30, 2021. However, holidaymakers still do not need to apply for a UK visa.

There is an exception to the requirement for a passport for certain people: Anyone who has a “settled” or “pre-settled” status, is a cross-border commuter or an “S2 Healthcare Visitor” can still use their ID card until December 31, 2025 Use entry, explains the EVZ.

If you rent a rental car for a tour in Great Britain, you can continue to use the German, European or international driver’s license.

European health insurance card is still accepted

And there is still good news for travelers: the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) issued by German health insurance companies and the Provisional Replacement Certificate (PEB) remain valid for holiday trips, explains the EVZ.

With the EHIC, travelers within the EU as well as in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom can go to the doctor in an emergency and receive the same benefits as the citizens of the respective country of travel. The costs for emergency treatment are covered by the health insurance. However, consumer advocates generally recommend additional travel health insurance for trips outside Germany, because health insurance companies often do not reimburse all treatment costs.

Passenger rights for connections between EU and UK

The EU passenger rights apply to all flights that start within the EU and to all flights that land in the EU if the airline is based in the EU. They regulate the amount of compensation, for example if an aircraft breaks down or is significantly delayed.

From January 1, 2021, it will look like this: The rights continue to apply to all flights from the United Kingdom – and to flights from the EU there by airlines based in the EU. However, they no longer apply if you are flying to the EU from a third country such as the USA with a British airline.

Anyone traveling to Great Britain on the Eurostar train or a long-distance bus will continue to be subject to the relevant passenger rights, for example in the event of delays. According to the EVZ, EU legislation has been converted into British law.

What applies to roaming costs?

In the EU there are no longer any roaming charges for phone calls using smartphones and for mobile surfing. This rule no longer applies to the United Kingdom. However, German network operators have announced that they do not want to change any existing tariffs for the time being. If in doubt, consumers should ask their provider about the specific costs before traveling.

Due to the corona pandemic, the number of trips from Germany to Great Britain and Northern Ireland is currently significantly lower than in previous years. In its travel advice, the Federal Foreign Office warns against unnecessary tourist trips to the whole of the United Kingdom. The travel law regulations for the post-Brexit period will therefore only become immediately noticeable for many people when the travel volume increases again in the future.

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