LET'S TALK BREXIT!
We hope you are all looking forward to your upcoming trip with Wasteland Ski, WE, or WhiteRoad in the next few months!
As you are likely aware, the Brexit transition period has come to an end, and the UK has officially left the EU. Whilst we are confident this will not cause any disruption to your holiday, there are some precautions you should prior to travelling, particularly as things have likely changed since you last went to France.
Below, we have a shortlist of guidance that we encourage all our travellers to read prior to their departure. We have collated this information from such trusted sources as the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, so please do take some time to read this to ensure you are prepared.
As your Tour Operator and an ABTA member we are committed to ensuring that your travel out to the Alps is as seamless as possible. We will continue to update this page as new details and advisory statements are released by ABTA and the Government.
KEY POINTS HERE
- Check your date your passport expires and renew it if it has less than six months from the date of travel.
- Review or update you travel insurance policy.
- Check your EHIC/GHIC is valid.
- Apply the UK sticker to your car, and take the relevant insurance and right to drive documents.
- Check with you mobile phone provider about data roaming charges.
Check the date your passport expires. When travelling to the EU after 29 March 2019, the UK government recommends that you have 6 months left on your passport on the date of your arrival to an EU country. Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months after the day you intend to leave France.
You should also check when your passport was renewed. If you renewed a 10-year adult passport before it expired, these extra months may have been ‘rolled over’ to your new passport’s expiry date. These extra months over 10 years will not count towards the 6 months that must be remaining. In order to travel, no more than 9 years and 6 months may have past since you got your passport. The UK Government has published a website tool to check the validity of your passport under these rules, found here: https://www.gov.uk/check-a-passport-travel-europe.
You can renew your passport online, or by going to a Post Office with a Check and Send service. You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans. Full details on renewing your passport can be found at https://www.gov.uk/renew-adult-passport/renew.
European Health Insurance Card and travel insurance
When you travel to an EU country you should have either:
- a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
- a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)
- travel insurance with healthcare cover
Your EHIC will remain valid until its expiry date, regardless of Brexit; the GHIC is the post-Brexit successor to the EHIC. An EHIC or GHIC is not a replacement for travel insurance. Both ABTA and Wasteland Travel strongly recommend you have both a health insurance card and travel insurance, as there are limitations to the EHIC/GHIC.
When travelling in the EU and beyond, it is important you check that your travel insurance covers your current circumstances, including any medical conditions, as well as the activities you plan to do on you holiday. If you have an annual policy, make sure you check the Terms and Conditions and contact your insurance provider if you’re not sure.
If you have taken out our insurance, then please check you are happy with the level of cover you provide.
Advice on travel insurance can be found at https://www.abta.com/travelinsurance.
Wasteland Ski insurance
We provide Specialist Winter Sports Insurance online through the booking page. This is a comprehensive cover, that is perfect for the type of holiday you are on. We still encourage you to check in with our insurance provider should you have any underlying medical conditions.
Your British driving license is valid when driving to the EU. The only exceptions to this are if you have:
- a paper driving licence
- a licence that was issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man
In these circumstances, you might need to obtain an International Driving Permit. These cost £5.50 and are available directly from the Post Office. To obtain one of these, drivers must be a resident of Great Britain or Northern Ireland, have a full UK driving license, be 18 or over.
Check carefully which permit is required for each country you intend to drive within, as you may need more than one permit to comply with the law.
More information is available at https://www.gov.uk/driving-abroad.
Green Cards for Insurance
You do not need carry a green card when you drive in the EU (including Ireland), Andorra, or Switzerland. You still need valid vehicle insurance. All UK vehicle insurance will provide at least the minimum third party cover to drive in the EU (including Ireland). We encourage you to check with your insurer to see what coverage they provide beyond this.
Other Requirements for Driving
As of 28/09/2021, you must display a UK sticker clearly on the rear of your car. The only exception to this is if your number plate includes a UK identifier with the Union flag. GB identifiers, the Union flag, a Euro symbol, and national flags of England, Scotland, and Wales are no longer valid.
You must take your vehicle log book (V5C) with you if you’re taking your vehicle abroad for less than 12 months. You may have to show it if you’re stopped at a port or while driving abroad. If you are driving a hired or leased vehicle, you may alternatively use a VE103 vehicle on hire certificate. These can be obtained for a fee from the AA, the RAC, the RHA, the BVRLA, or Logistics UK.
Under EU regulations, the cost of making calls, sending messages or using the internet on your phone in the EU was the same in the UK. Since Brexit, this is no longer guaranteed – however, some UK companies have said they may continue to offer this benefit to their customers. Before you travel, check with your mobile phone provider about the costs of using your phone in the EU.
Will this affect my ferry crossing?
Ferry services will still sail as normal; the majority of the rules under which they operate are based on international regulations, rather than EU law. However, they are expecting larger queues and delays at the ports, so please be prepared to wait for an extended period. By following the guidance above such as ensuring passports are valid, you can help reduce waiting times at customs.
Will this affect my flights?
Flights have continued as normal since Brexit. You should not experience any difference in security screening, and your rights as a passenger remain the same. EU law still applies to airlines which are registered in the EU. As a consumer, you still retain existing protections, assistance, and compensation for issues relating to delays, denial of boarding, cancellation of flights, airline insolvency, etc.
Will I need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit?
British citizens do not need visas to travel to the EU after Brexit, as a reciprocal visa exemption scheme has been arranged. You can travel for up to 90 days in a 180 day period throughout the entire Schengen area without needing a visa. From 2022 onwards, British citizens will need to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver, for a small fee. This is easy to obtain, and the process can be completed online. This is part of a new electronic travel authorisation system applying to all third country visitors to the EU, similar to the US ESTA regime.
Should I take out travel insurance to cover Brexit?
It is important that whenever and wherever you travel that you have adequate travel insurance which covers your specific needs, including any known medical conditions or activities you plan to do. It is also worth checking the detail of the policy around travel disruption including delays or cancellations as policies do vary.
We hope this guide has helped inform you on all the potential impacts Brexit might have on your holiday. We encourage you to keep up to date with any potential new developments at the following links too.
Foreign Travel Check List
Travel guidance for Air, Rail or Sea
Foreign Healthcare & EHIC
Travel for International Customers