Travellling in 2021?

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Although most arrangements are still unknown, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office have issued advice to travellers to the EU from 1st of January 2021. But because of existing arrangements between the EU and some other countries, this information also applies to four other non-EU members- Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

UK passport
If your passport has six months or less validity renew it asap

Remember that the Republic of Ireland has a special arrangement with the UK that pre-dates the EU arrangement. The Common Travel Area allows people from either country to freely cross between the two even without the need for a passport although transport providers usually want photographic identification.

You can read the full advice by clicking here or going to https://www.gov.uk/visit-europe-1-january-2021.

In summary though, some of the things suggested are probably good practice and you already do them.

These are:

  • making sure you have at least six months’ validity in your passport
  • ensuring you have travel insurance that includes medical cover because EHIC cards will no longer be valid
  • some countries might require you to have international driving permit so check with each country c loser to the time of travel bearing in mind how long it could take to obtain one.

You won’t need to “trade-in” your old passport and get a new one. The existing one you possess will still be valid until its expiry date.

If too many people apply for new passports then there could be a delay in issuing them. Should you apply earlier than you might normally consider so that you have plenty of time before you travel abroad? Maybe an application in late summer or September for those passports expiring in June/July 2021 might be the sensible thing to do. Remember your passport should have six months validity in what when you travel so a June/July passport won’t be sufficient if you plan a February half-term or Easter 2021 holiday in EU countries.

If you’re a tourist, (as opposed to taking a business trip, the FCO says you will not need a visa for short trips to EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The definition of a short trip is up to 90 days in any 180-day period.  

If you are going to drive you might require a sticker of nationality like the old GB stickers that we all used to carry. Will a new one read “UK” or “GB?” I wonder whether I still have old GB sticker somewhere in the attic?

There will be other changes and, as I said a few days ago, the sooner we know the sooner we can plan.

Do I expect we will find out soon? What do you think…

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