We are aware that many customers may have questions about what will happen to their holiday after 29 March 2019 when the UK leaves the European Union (EU).
Date: 04 February 2019
The political process is still ongoing and we don't yet know the final outcome. In light of this, ABTA has developed some responses to some frequently asked questions which we have published here.
ABTA have also identified actions travellers may wish to take in advance to help avoid unnecessary future disruption in the event of a no-deal scenario. This information only covers areas where you can take reasonable action or put plans into place now. Areas, where the situation is still unclear, are not included, but the information will be updated once clarified.
Will flights still operate?
If a deal is agreed then we will be in a transition period, meaning everything will stay the same until the end of December 2020. Even if we are in a no-deal scenario, the European Commission has said that UK airlines will still be able to operate flights between the UK and the EU.
Will I need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit?
The European Commission announced in November that, even in a no-deal scenario, UK travellers can still visit the EU without a visa, providing the same is offered to European citizens visiting the UK.
What happens if customer's book to travel after 29 March 2019 and their holiday cannot go ahead due to Brexit?
In a no-deal scenario, the European Commission has said flights to and from the UK will still be able to operate. In any event, customers who book a package holiday will be protected under the Package Travel Regulations, meaning they have a right to a full refund if the holiday can no longer be provided.
Check the date your passport expires. If you are travelling to the EU after 29 March 2019, you may need to renew your passport earlier than you planned. The Government have issued a tool to assist with this. Therefore, before you travel, please use the Government's website to check you have enough time left on your UK passport. You can also find further details on the rules for passports and the countries affected, by visiting the gov.uk Passport rules for travel to Europe page.
If you need to renew your passport, you can do so online or by going to a Post Office with a Check and Send service.
Full details on renewing your passport can be found here.
European Health Insurance Card and travel insurance
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows any EU citizen to access state medical care when they are travelling in another EU country. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, UK registered EHICs will no longer be valid.
When travelling in the EU and beyond, it is important you take out travel insurance and check that it covers your current circumstances, including any medical conditions. If you have an annual policy, make sure you check the Terms and Conditions and contact your insurance provider if you're not sure.
Having adequate travel insurance in place from the time of booking is essential. As an Appointed Representative for Holiday Extras Ltd we offer a competitive insurance product which you may be eligible to book with ourselves. You may wish to arrange an alternative cover, however, we highly recommend that any alternative insurance purchased must have a 24-hour emergency telephone service. We are able to offer you the option to add our insurance product to your booking, and then later remove it free of charge within our 14-day cooling off period from the date that your insurance is confirmed. If you do not let us know within that period, you will be liable to pay the premium for the insurance. If you choose to travel without adequate insurance cover, we will not be liable for any losses howsoever arising, in respect of which insurance cover would otherwise have been available.
As long as you have a full UK driving licence, you don't currently need an additional licence to drive in the EU. This is likely to change in a no-deal scenario. UK travellers looking to drive in the EU on or after 29 March 2019 may need to apply for the relevant International Driving Permit.
These cost £5.50 and are available directly from the Post Office. The Government has extended the network of Post Offices where you can apply for an International Driving Permit, find your nearest branch here.
Check carefully which permit is required for each country you intend to drive within, as you may need more than one permit to comply with the law.
More information is available here.
Under EU rules, the cost of making calls, sending messages or using the internet on your phone in the EU is the same in the UK. If the UK leaves without a deal these rules will no longer apply – however, some UK companies have said they may continue to offer this benefit to their customers. Before you travel, check with your mobile phone provider about the costs of using your phone in the EU.
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