General synopsis High pressure is building over Westminster and looks set to continue until the 31 January 2020. Frosty patches are likely in Brussels and Paris, however Storm Boris is likely to wash away any black ice.
Can I travel in Europe in the New Year?
British citizens, who by default are EU citizens, can travel freely in euroland until either, we crash out on the 31st of January or a formal exit agreement is in force.
Upon agreement a transition period will start which is forecast to end on the 31st of December 2020. Tourists are unlikely to be affected during a transition period assuming friendly negotiations continue.
If UK crashes out of EU on the 31st of January British citizens will be entitled to stay in the EU for 3 months under the Schengen agreement. For example, if Brexit happens on the 31st of January a British citizen would not have to return to the UK until the end of April. Read our blog 4 Must-Do Checks before Entering the EU after Brexit.
Some countries have already implemented their own rules. Find out more about individual country requirements at gov.uk/Brexit
If you intend to stay in the EU after the 31st January, make sure your passport has at least 6 months left before its expiry date. You can renew a passport here: www.gov.uk/apply-renew-passport if you need to renew a passport urgently you will need to go to a passport office, find out more at www.gov.uk/get-a-passport-urgently
Pack a GB sticker as you will have to display this on your motorhome, car and caravan after Brexit.
Most countries have decided that British citizens do not need an International Driving Permit (IDP) for short visits. Details for Spain and Portugal are below. The exception is France and Andorra. If you intend to drive back through France ensure that you have a 1968 International Driving Permit (IDP). If you intend to visit Andorra a 1949 IDP is required. Both IDPs are available from the Post Office. Further information can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/driving-in-the-eu-after-brexit-international-driving-permits and read our blog How to Drive Legally in Europe after Brexit
What should I do if Brexit happens whilst I am in Europe?
Firstly, open another bottle and raise a glass for democracy or drown your sorrows. ALSO notify your vehicle and travel insurance companies that you are in the EU. Get a green card from your insurance provider.
Spain has issued the following advice to British tourists
UK-issued European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) holders will be able to continue to access healthcare in the same way until at least 31 December 2020. Make sure you’re treated by a healthcare provider within the Spanish state system. Your EHIC will not cover you for private healthcare.
You will not need an International Driving Permit (IDP) for visits up to 9 months after the date the UK leaves the EU. Then you will not need an IDP for visits up to 6 months, if you have either a UK photocard or UK paper driving licence.
Portugal has issued the following advice to British tourists
After Brexit UK nationals who are temporarily staying in Portugal maintain the right to access healthcare in the National Health Service (SNS) until the end of 2020, if they present a valid UK passport. The EHIC would no longer be accepted, although it is advisable to keep it and show it in the period immediately after Brexit.
You will not need an International Driving Permit (IDP) for visits up to 185 days if you have either a UK photocard or UK paper driving licence. You will need a 1968 IDP for longer visits.
Bringing your pet back to the UK from the EU after Brexit
Your pet must have one of the following documents when returning to the UK:
If you are already away with your pet during Brexit the UK government states ‘There will be no change to the current health preparations for pets entering Great Britain from the EU after Brexit’.
Pet travel during an implementation period
If a deal is agreed and an implementation period is confirmed, you can travel with your pet to the EU under the current pet travel rules using your current UK issued EU pet passport.
If you’re travelling with your pet for the first time you will have to visit your vet to get a pet passport.
Further information is available at www.gov.uk/guidance/pet-travel-to-europe-after-brexit
If you intend to depart for the EU after Brexit read our blogs How to Drive Legally in Europe after Brexit and 4 Must-Do Checks before Entering the EU after Brexit.
About the author
Meli is currently packing her motorhome ready for some Spanish winter sun and Portuguese hospitality. Over the past 13 years she has toured all over Europe in a motorhome during the research of a suite of travel guides, including All the Aires Spain and Portugal, Go Motorhoming & Campervanning, and Road Trip Europe.
Vicarious Media is a specialist travel retailer, focusing on European motorhome travel. Vicarious Media has a proven history of finding, and evaluating the best stopovers and campsites for campers, motorhomers, caravanners and road trippers. Since 2006 they have improved the tours of thousands of motorhomers, and hope to transform your travels too.