Going on Holiday to Europe ? Brexit Update


Edward Henry Potthast

Thinking of escaping from the UK Brexit chaos and having a lovely relaxing holiday away from it all?  If you are travelling to Europe things will have changed.

Today, 12th of March, a meaningful vote may or not take place on Brexit which may or not take place.

Anyhoos here’s the latest advice for anyone intending to holiday in rEU after 29th of March 2019 if there is no deal .

This advice is from the UK Government

Rules for passports

The rules for travel to most countries in Europe change if the UK leaves the European Union (EU) with no deal.

After 29 March 2019:

  1. You should have at least 6 months left on your passport from your date of arrival. This applies to adult and child passports.
  2. If you renewed a passport before it expired, up to 9 extra months may have been added to your new passport’s expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months that should be remaining for travel to most countries in Europe.

The new rules will apply to passports issued by the UK, Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey.

As well as the 27 countries of rEU the above advice also applies to Iceland, Switzerland and Norway.

The new rules do not apply when travelling to Ireland.

Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania are not in the Schengen area. You should check the entry requirements for these countries.

Please see: Check a Passport for travel to Europe

The UK Government also advises:

Do not book travel unless your passport meets the entry requirements of the country you’re travelling to.

ABTA Advice

Advice from ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) is that flights, ferries and cruise ships will continue to operate as normal. Buses are ‘expected‘ to operate as normal. Trains will also continue as before , however, you need to check when booking for additional information.

Visas will not be required so long as EU citizens travelling to the UK will not require one. From 2021 UK travellers will have to pay a visa exception fee if going on holiday to the EU.

European Health Insurance Card (EHRC)

This card meant that you could access state health care in an EU country. This will no longer be valid if there is a no deal. You are advised to take out travel insurance.


If your holiday in Europe involves you driving in EU countries you will require additional documents with you. An  International Driving Permit can be applied for at selected Post Offices and costs £5.50 – for people in Orkney that is the Kirkwall branch. In addition to this you will need a Green Card from your insurance company. The advice is to contact your insurance company at least 1 month before travelling.

Using your mobile phone etc

As a member of the EU the UK was part of the digital single market. This will no longer be the case with Brexit. You may rack up extra charges when using your phone or a mobile device without realising if you have become used to having no roaming charges. You need to check with your mobile provider to see if they have made any deals that will reduce these costs for you.

Taking your pet with you

Some people  like to take their pets with them if they go on holiday. If this is you then you need to check with your vet at least 4 months before travelling.

The following advice is from the UK Government and applies to dogs, cats and all those folks who travel with ferrets.

  1. You must get your dog, cat or ferret microchipped and then vaccinated against rabies before it can travel. Your pet must have a blood sample taken at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination. You’ll need to talk to your vet about whether you need a rabies vaccination or booster before this test.
  2. Your vet must send the blood sample to an EU-approved blood testing laboratory.
  3. The results of the blood test must show that the vaccination was successful (Your pet must have a rabies antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml).
  4. You must wait 3 months from the date the successful blood sample was taken before you travel.
  5. You must take your pet to a Official Veterinarian (OV), no more than 10 days before travel to get a health certificate.

If there’s no deal, pet passports issued in the UK would not be valid for travel to the EU.

Your pet health certificate would be valid for:

  • 10 days after the date of issue for entry into the EU
  • 4 months of onward travel within the EU
  • re-entry to the UK for 4 months after the date of issue

On arrival in the EU, pet owners travelling with their pets would be required to enter through a designated Travellers’ Point of Entry (TPE). At the TPE, the pet owner may be asked to present proof of microchip, rabies vaccination and the blood test result alongside their pet’s health certificate.

Vintage seaside postcardSo have a great time and enjoy your holiday – even if you travel with ferrets.

Reporter: Fiona Grahame

Brexit Business Advice

The Scottish Government has a website dedicated to providing advice to business post Brexit . You can access that here:  Prepare for Brexit 




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1 reply »

  1. In a nutshell………..

    “Today, 12th of March, a meaningful vote may or not take place on Brexit which may or not take place.”

    May……… or May not – aye, that is the question.

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