The UK is a popular destination for tourists to Europe, especially France, Italy and Spain. It is important to remember that the rules of travel between the UK and Europe changed over the last few years. Brits have lost their freedom of movement within the EU since Brexit. It means that the rules have changed both for UK citizens who visit Europe on a holiday and for EU nationals visiting the UK.

This article examines the rules UK travellers must follow when visiting European countries. This article covers the following:

  • Visas for British Citizens before Travelling to Europe
  • What British travellers should do to make sure their passports are valid
  • What to expect when you arrive in Europe
  • Travel insurance for UK visitors will change
  • What roaming charges can be applied to mobile phones?
  • How pets can travel to Europe with their owners

Marbella Hotels near the beach

Do British tourists require a visa for Europe?

British tourists are still allowed to visit Europe without a Visa. Visa exemption is granted to UK citizens for short-term trips under 90 days in the Schengen area for business or tourism.

In the near future UK passport holders may need to apply online for an ETIAS Visa Waiver and pay a small amount before traveling to the Schengen Area.

The UK Government aims to introduce a scheme similar to this for European visitors in Britain. Visitors from certain countries can now benefit from the UK ETA Visa Waiver. All EU citizens will be required to obtain a visa.

British citizens who wish to stay longer or work full-time in Europe must obtain a Schengen Visa or work permit from the country where they intend to reside. The British citizen must apply to the embassy in the country they wish to live in.

Can British passports be used to travel to Europe after 2024?

You can use your British passport for travel in Europe.

If you are planning to travel to the EU, your passport must meet the following requirements.

  • Valid 6+ months from the date of arrival to the EU
  • Issuance less than 10 Years Ago

This means that the passport must be issued within 9 years and 6 months of its date.

According to European regulations, passports cannot be older than 10 years. Travel documents older than 10 years are automatically considered invalid.

The British Passport Office usually extends the validity of the passport when it is renewed earlier. The EU would not accept these extra days, as the 10-year cutoff date is the EU’s standard.

You may have to renew your passport sooner than you expected to go on a European vacation if this is the case.

What are the new procedures that British tourists must follow when they arrive in Europe?

When British tourists arrive in Europe, they may not be able use the queue reserved for EU and Swiss travellers. They will instead need to join an international queue.

Also, UK tourists might be asked to show proof that they’re only visiting the EU on business or for tourism. It may be necessary to provide proof that the UK is their home country and sufficient funds are available for the duration.

Do British tourists require travel insurance to the EU?

The European Health Insurance Card can be used up until its expiration. The EHIC allows the holder access to free state-funded medical care in the EU, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

The Global Health Insurance Card will be replaced by the new Global Health Insurance Card after the expiration date. UK travellers are still encouraged to purchase health insurance.

Do British tourists pay roaming fees for mobile phones?

Some British tourists are paying for roaming fees on their mobile phones. As of December 31, 2020, the requirement that operators waive roaming charges will no longer be applicable to UK mobile networks.

Mobile network operators have the right to re-introduce additional charges for mobile services when travelling abroad in Europe. Tourists are therefore advised to confirm before they arrive in the EU if these additional charges may apply to them.

Do UK driving licences still work in Europe?

You can still use your UK driving license in Europe as long as it is issued by the UK.

If your driving license is:

A paper driving licence

Gibraltar, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands

UK citizens who drive their cars from Britain into Europe may need to take additional steps. UK passport holders who are driving to the EU should have proof of their insurance and display a sticker with “GB” on their car.

Can British tourists bring their pets into Europe?

British tourists are still allowed to travel with their pets, such as dogs, cats or ferrets. Travellers will have to take extra safety precautions.

Pet passports issued by Great Britain no longer allow travel to EU countries or Northern Ireland.

Pets must be microchipped and vaccinated against rabies a few weeks prior to travel. They may also need an animal health certification (AHC). The AHC will need to be renewed each time the animal travels to Europe.

It’s important to prepare for a trip to Europe from the UK, because there are so many changes. If you have any further questions please contact us and a member of our team will help you. We look forward to greeting you at Paloma Blanca Hotel.