Its the million dollar question. Talks will resume today and it seems that an 11th hour deal might just be in the offing. Let’s hope so, we do truly believe that this will be the best outcome for the travel industry, the veil of doom can start to be lifted and we will all find a way forward and enjoy our skiing holidays once more.

There is so much confusion and negative press at the moment – the scare-mongering is inevitably achieving headlines. But these aren’t the headlines we want or need – where’s the positivity, where’s the hope that we all need during these desperate times and after the year we’ve all endured?

Here at Powder White, we’ve attempted to unravel this confusion and set out what we feel is the truest picture of where we’re heading post 31st December 2020. There are fears that a possible EU crackdown on British visitors after Brexit will severely limit the choice of destinations available. I think we need to keep some perspective here…

Border Control:

  • We’re not going to be prevented from visiting Europe
  • The British do not need a visa for stays up to 90 days
  • It is advisable to have 6 months remaining on your passport – as has always been the case
  • The passport control queues are going to be no worse
  • No meat or milk (or derivatives thereof) can be taken
  • You may be required to show a return or onward travel ticket
  • There may be a requirement to show you have enough money for your stay

Healthcare:

  • You must have appropriate travel insurance with healthcare arranged before you go abroad. A word of caution here… you must research insurance and get the correct cover if you have a pre-existing medical condition. Do not assume your insurance will cover this if it not declared before purchase.
  • Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will not be valid after 1st January 2021 – this means all treatment will have to be paid for, no matter how small.

Passenger Travel by Air, Rail & Sea:

  • Flights will continue as normal and you will not experience any difference in security screening
  • Passengers flying from the UK will continue to transfer to onward flights at EU airports (& Switzerland) without extra security screening.
  • There will be no impact to direct flights to non-EU flights.

Your rights as a rail or ferry passenger using either domestic or cross-border rail services will remain unchanged. The EU regulation on passengers’ rights is now UK law.

Driving in Europe:

You may well need extra documents from 1st January 2021. You will need to research an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in some countries. You will still need to carry your UK driving licence with you. An IDP costs £5.50 (available from the post office) and drivers must:

  • Be a Great British or Northern Ireland resident
  • Have a full UK driving licence
  • Be 18 or over
  • Carry your vehicle log book (V5C)
  • Carry a VE103 to show you’re allowed to use your hired or leased vehicle abroad

Do not assume that your current insurance cover will allow you to drive in Europe. You will need to have a “green card” as proof that you have motor insurance whilst driving abroad. Take note that if your vehicle is towing a trailer or caravan, you will need a green card both the towing vehicle and one for the trailer/caravan. Our biggest tip here is to contact your vehicle insurance provider 6 weeks before you travel to check your cover and obtain your green cards through them.

Taking Your Pet to the EU:

A current EU pet passport issued in GB will not be valid for travel to the EU or NI from 1st January 2020. You will need to take the following steps:

  • Your pet must be microchipped
  • Vaccinate your pet against rabies – your pet must be at least 12 weeks old before it can be vaccinated
  • Wait 21 days after the primary vaccination before travel
  • Visit your vet to get an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) for your pet, no more than 10 days before travelling.

Mobile Data Roaming:

Rules around mobile data roaming are changing meaning you may face charges when using your phone abroad, including for making calls, sending messages or using the internet. Check with your mobile phone provider about their data roaming policy.

So, there we have it. Our take on Brexit travel implications.

There is though the question of Covid-19, quarantine and travel corridors. This is changing the whole time and despite much negative press, we are hopeful that our Ski Season 2020/21 will be able to start as planned in January. Word on the street is that lifts will open on 7th January for locals and then Bars, Shops & Restaurants will be open from Saturday 23rd January. This is the date we’re aiming for and the good news is that, as yet, our partners in the EU are showing no sign of treating us any differently to their EU neighbours regardless of deal/no deal. Fingers crossed everyone!

Claire Freeland – Director, Powder White Ltd