Post-Brexit Travel from the UK – what has changed?
Brexit has made some profound changes to the rights of UK citizens when it comes to travelling to and within the European Union. As we await important travel updates from the UK government, we will have a look at what you can do right now to ensure that you are ready to travel when the time comes.
There are new rules for UK passport holders which now apply. You have to check right now if you need to apply for a new passport. We expect that turn around times to get a new passport will significantly increase once travel begins to open up again. You’ll need to have at least six months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland). If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date.
For many running and cycling events in France, mainly in the Alps, it is convenient to fly to Geneva Airport. Here at Sports Tours International, we provide an airport transfer service from Geneva for such events as the Marmotte Gran Fondo, the Etape du Tour, the Haute Route Switzerland, the Haute Route Alps and the Marathon du Mont Blanc.
If you’re planning to rent a car at Geneva airport (a non-EU country), with the intention to drive it into France (an EU country), then you must inform the rental company when booking the vehicle. They can provide you with an EU-registered car in order to comply with EU customs laws. Most car rental companies in Switzerland provide cars with EU number plates for EU residents in order to comply with EU customs rules, but you should check with your car rental company.
The car rental company must also ensure that the car complies with the customs and traffic rules of the country where you will travel. For example, in many countries winter tyres are compulsory during certain months of the year.
A new Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) will replace the EHIC car (European Health Insurance Card). The EHIC card used to allow British citizens the right to healthcare in the EU. It’s worth checking that you have your European Health Insurance card (EHIC). This card has an expiry date so check that it’s still in date before you go.
The EHIC card covers you for emergency medical treatment in state hospitals in EU countries plus Switzerland and some other countries. You basically get the same treatment as a local resident would. You may have to pay some charges, but you can claim them back when you return home. An EHIC card does not cover you for repatriation or longer hospital stays. You need travel insurance for this. If you still have an EHIC card that’s in date then you can continue to use it. If you haven’t got an EHIC card or it’s due to expire then you can now apply for the new GHIC card. You can apply, for you and your family, here: www.ghic.co.uk
Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland are no longer covered on the GHIC card whilst some additional countries are. Healthcare can be expensive in some of those countries, so please ensure you have adequate travel insurance. More details on the FCDO website: gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
Never travel without travel insurance. There are a couple of things to look at when you take out travel insurance:
You should take out travel insurance at the time of booking as it can also cover you for cancellation before you travel
You need to ensure that you are covered for the activities that you will undertake whilst on holiday
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