Travelling in a Post-Brexit EU and UK: What You Need to Know

girl smiling waiting in airport

On December 31, 2020, the UK’s European Union membership finally comes to a close through Brexit. Besides the various economic implications of losing EU membership, Brexit will also affect UK nationals’ travel capabilities. From January 1, 2021, all British citizens travelling to EU countries will need to observe new rules in their travelling practices.

Understanding the travel changes due to Brexit

Brexit’s controversial implications will take into effect, causing massive changes to several sectors, including the travel industry. These new travel requirements will apply to destinations in EU member states, Schengen Area countries, and their microstates, excluding Ireland. Listed below are the list of countries that will follow these rulings:

  • Andorra
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Vatican
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

Reassessing the validity of your UK passport for travel

Thankfully, your UK passport will still allow you to visit European countries until it expires. However, it must meet several criteria before you can be valid for travel. A British passport must be valid for 6 months after the traveller’s intended date of arriving in the EU and must not be older than 10 years.

Keep in mind that passports that hold extra months from previous passports will no longer count. If you renewed your current passport in advance before your previous one expires, the extra months of validity do not add to the six months of validity before travelling. UK citizens planning to travel to EU countries after December 31, 2020, must ensure that they meet the criteria above.

Processing visa applications from the UK to EU and vice-versa

For visa applications, Britons and EU nationals don’t need to apply for a visa. However, this also entails another set of requirements to ensure a limited term for visiting. Brits arriving in EU ports need to show proof of return and sufficient financial means to support their stay in their country of destination. Additionally, proof of health insurance is also necessary to visit all EU territories.

Adjusting to the foreseeable future

Part of why Brexit is taking different stages before it comes into full effect is to brace for necessary adjustments by the public and institutions. This is why Brexit officially started on January 31, 2020, but followed an 11-month transition period instead of applying all the legal document’s provisions.

By the end of 2022, another provision will change the way Britons will travel to EU countries. The intended implementation of the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) works as a bid to give EU countries information on who will enter its territories before they even arrive at the borders. It will be an added benefit for passport holders to have Visa-free entry to the Schengen Area for over 60 world countries. This includes UK nationals’ travel for short-term stays to have a simpler and more accessible process.


Travel to EU countries will impact not just travel documents but also airport processes. For example, EU, EEA and Switzerland citizens will no longer have reserved prioritisation lanes for travel. These alterations to travel practices are just some of the changes that are sure to receive revisions and adjustments as the public learns to adapt to Brexit’s effects.

The travelling industry will face many changes in the coming years, which will be problematic for people regardless if they need to travel for business or leisure purposes. This is why it’s necessary to get professional help from people who closely examine the sector’s many developments. If you’re looking for a competent visa agency in Queens Road, Wimbledon, get in touch with us today!