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Brexit: Advice for travellers after January 31

As Britain will leave the European Union on January 31, how will you be affected when travelling to the EU from February 1 onwards?

Well, according to ABTA, nothing will change for the rest of 2020, assuming Parliament ratifies the Withdrawal Agreement before the end of January, which it is expected to do.

Britain will enter a transition period, expected to last until at least the end of December, during which absolutely nothing will change.

So, to all intents and purposes, you will be able to travel to the EU just as you do now.

ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer said today: “This means that valid passports can still be used, EHIC health insurance cards will still be valid and the same gates can be used at border check points. People can continue to make their travel plans with confidence that things won’t change until at least the end of 2020.”

Flights, trains and ferries will still operate, you won’t need six months’ validity on your passport (despite previous suggestions by the government that this would the case post Brexit), and you won’t need an international driver’s licence.

Similarly, the cost of using your mobile phone in the EU will remain the same as in the UK for the rest of the year, and there won’t be any changes to taking you pets to the continent.

ABTA is advising anyone considering travelling to the EU to buy travel insurance and not to depend wholly on their EHIC, but this has always been the case as the cover provided is limited and doesn’t include repatriation costs for anyone injured while abroad.

Further Brexit advice for travellers can be found at www.abta.com/brexit 

The Withdrawal Agreement has been approved by the House of Commons, and is presently being considered by the House of Lords.

What happens in 2021 will depend on new trade agreements negotiated between the UK and the EU over the next 11 months.

Linsey McNeill

A journalist and travel writer of 35 years' standing, a once-a-week yogi, terrible skier and out-of-order mum to 2 teens. Previously Editor of TravelMole.com, bylines also include The Telegraph, The Times, The Observer, the London Evening Standard, Which? and The South China Morning Post.

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