The ETIAS system is now due to come online during 2022 and with Brexit complete, will be relevant for UK travellers.
The Covid-19 position will also continue to be a factor during 2021 and 2022, with ongoing variations in allowed travel. Digital Covid vaccination certificates are beginning to be used but keeping up to date before you travel makes sense.
Whilst Dynamic Dox is primarily about ATA carnets and the temporary export of goods, this often involves people travelling. Covid apart, we want to ensure they are aware of recent changes and their practical effects.
Travel to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein has changed since January 1st 2021. Much is still fluid, with negotiations continuing but there appear to be core areas we can look at.
Main Legal Changes
Freedom of movement as in place for over 40 years has ended. Subject to entry requirements, you can now stay in the EU for up to 90 days in any 180 day period as a tourist, without a visa. This is cumulative across countries, with a few exceptions such as Cyprus and Romania.
Non visa travel should also be fine for business meetings, or other passing visits, however, even for less than 90 days, trips for more sustained work may require a visa. There are differences in how this is applied across EU countries, best to check current information.
Passports will need to be valid for at least 6 months before departure and whilst this seems odd, bear in mind the UK and EU define that differently.
Many of us renew our passports before expiry, up to 9 months before, so they can be valid for 10 years 9 months. The EU however consider the 10 years to run from the date of issue, regardless of the overlap.
In principle, you could travel with a passport which has 14 months left but still be turned away. Other reasons could see entry blocked, such as not being able to prove you are financially able to support yourself.
Reciprocal agreements on healthcare have changed. A European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) can still be used until expiry but for most UK nationals, not renewed. An alternative system, the UK Global Health Insurance Card (UK GHIC) is now in place but has limitations.
To avoid treatment being declined, or unforeseen costs, the government and travel bodies are recommending an insurance route. Even if you already have travel insurance, premiums are likely to rise but this is still a wise move.
UK issued driving licences (of the photographic card type) are now valid in the EU. If you hold other types, you will need an international driving permit. All drivers should contact their vehicle insurance company in ample time, so they can supply a green card.
A GB sticker is required and in a number of countries, warning triangles, headlamp direction changers, fire extinguishers, or first aid kits. Alongside insurance, carrying other vehicle documents such as your vehicle registration can prove helpful.
The pet passport scheme has ended and you will now need an animal health certificate (AHC) for your pet. Allow a month to arrange this and required vaccinations, liaising closely with your vet.
Free mobile phone roaming largely continues but is at the discretion of your provider and one or two are breaking ranks. What was a guarantee will essentially become a package marketing point, with costs possibly still factored in.
You will not be able to use the dedicated EU passport lane and whilst the EU is in a sense one place for travel, that guarantee of equality is to a degree ephemeral.
Whilst all EU members offer freedom to EU citizens, views vary on non EU visa requirements for study, or business, even if for less than 90 days. Other individual regulations can change from place to place.
Exceptions to this should be locations in The Common Travel Area (UK, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man, Channel Islands) where deals are outside EU provision. Since December 2020, in the rest of the EU we are foreigners.
If you are carrying £10,000 or more in cash, a declaration is required before travelling. Even in small quantities (such as refreshments) meat, milk or products containing these items can not be taken into the EU.
One useful point is that ATA carnets for the EU will cover travel for your goods, even though people are seeing more complex requirements. They may vary as time passes, when further information is available, we will update.