UK visitors travelling to EU member states from 1 January 2021

Visas: EU (Schengen area only) and UK citizens will not require short-stay visas for leisure travel of up to 90 days in any 180 day period.  

ETIAS: A European Travel Information and Authorisation System (akin to US ESTA) is planned to be introduced from the end of 2022, for travel to EU member states.  An ETIAS will be valid for 3 years, will cost 7 Euros, and will need to be applied for prior to departure (online application).  

Airport Transit Visa: certain 3rd country nationals (UK nationals travelling on UK passports are exempt) will require an airport transit visa for travel between the UK and other third countries when transiting via an EU member state (except for Ireland, Iceland, Norway & Switzerland).  

Airport Transit Visas should be obtained from the consulate of the country where the transit shall occur. 

Passports: passports should have at least 6 months of validity remaining on them and be less than 10 years old, from the date of travel.  

Border checks: UK citizens will not be able to use the EEA/EU passport/customs channels at EU airports/ports. Evidence of passport validity, the purpose of travel, return or onward tickets and sufficient funds for the duration of the stay, may be required.  

Driving: International driving permits will not be required for driving in the EU if the traveller has a card-style driving license. 

If taking a UK registered car to the EU, existing car insurance arrangements may be extended to include driving in the EU, but a physical Green Card will need to be obtained from the insurer (at a cost – allow at least 1 month to obtain). A GB sticker will also be required (unless the registration plate displays GB/UK). 

Pets: if taking pets to the EU, travellers should allow at least 1 month to obtain an animal health certificate (AHC) and relevant vaccinations from their vet.  

Health: any current European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) will continue to be valid for travel in the EU. On expiry of the EHIC, travellers to the EU will be able to apply for a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) providing similar healthcare.  

Health checks, vaccinations and quarantine requirements may also apply (due to Covid). 

Tax-Free Shopping: duty-free shopping will be available for outbound and inbound routes. VAT refunds may also be obtained on certain goods bought in the EU (documents will need to be completed and presented at the EU departure airport, on return). 

Taking food and drink into the EU: meat, milk or products containing them (except for certain amounts of powdered infant milk, infant food, or pet food required for medical reasons) are not permitted to be taken into the EU from the UK.  

Taking plants and plant products into the EU: certificates will be required in order to take certain plants and plant products into EU countries.  

Mobile Roaming Fees: UK mobile operators will be able to charge roaming fees from 1 January 2021 (data notifications for charges exceeding £45 are still required).

Subscribe to our newsletter

Searching for your villa