Many people are travelling for the first time since the pandemic this summer. But new travel rules that came into effect after Brexit have the potential to catch holidaymakers out.

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Nine Travel Rules To Know

How old is your passport? 

If you have a British passport, it can't be more than 10 years old when entering the EU and most places in Europe will require you to have at least three months left on your passport on the date you depart from your destination. But, since new rules allow you to stay in Europe for 90 days, many countries require six months left on your passport to ensure it doesn't run out before you leave.

The passport office is currently advising it may take up to 10 weeks for applications to be processed, so make sure you apply in good time if you need to renew it.

Get an entry and exit stamp

Your passport will also now need to be stamped on entry and exit. This process should become automated at some point in 2022, through the new Entry/Exit system (EES) to help process travellers quickly and efficiently. In the meantime, make sure your passport is stamped so the Border Force knows how long you have been in the EU for.

Back of the queue 

When going through passport control you will not be able to use the EU or EEA lanes. So make sure you join the right queue to save yourself the embarrassment of being sent to the back of the line.

Don't get caught out with a big bill

Rules around mobile data roaming have changed meaning you may face charges when using your phone abroad, including for making calls, sending messages or using the internet. Check with your mobile phone provider about their data roaming policy.

Staff shortages = flight disruption

Airlines are experiencing staffing shortages as the Government's rules after Brexit mean many EU workers who previously filled vacancies can no longer be hired. This is causing travel disruption with some flights cancelled or delayed at short notice.

Want to pack your pooch?

Your pet passport will no longer be valid to travel to the EU or Northern Ireland and you will now need an Animal Health Certificate. Your pet will also need to be microchipped, vaccinated against rabies and dogs will need tapeworm treatment for travelling directly to Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway or Malta.

If you wish to take your pet abroad you should speak to your vet at least one month in advance to make sure you have these in place before you are due to travel. 

New 'UK' car sticker required

You will need a 'UK' sticker for your own car when driving in the EU to replace the old 'GB' sticker, which is no longer valid. 

If you have a paper licence or your driving licence was issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man you may need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in some EU countries and Norway

Getting healthcare abroad

If you have a European Health Insurance Card it will be valid up to its expiry date (cards are valid for five years when issued). If you apply for a card now, you'll get a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) instead of an EHIC. It is recommended to take out travel insurance with sufficient healthcare cover for your trip.

Do you need a visa?

If you are going on holiday you won’t need a visa for short trips to Europe. You can stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. At border control you may need to show a return ticket and that you have enough money for your stay. 

You won’t be able to take any meat, milk or any products containing these items into the EU. There are exceptions for powdered baby milk, baby food, or pet food required for medical reasons.

The EU is aiming to bring in a new visa waiver system, called ETIAS, by the end of 2022. This is similar to the ESTA for travel to the US and will be valid for three years. Once introduced, British passport holders travelling to the EU will need to apply for an ETIAS, via an online system.

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