Brexit has been overshadowing the news in the United Kingdom for the last three years. It is still unclear if the United Kingdom (UK) will leave the European Union (EU) with or without a deal. Now in the middle of summer 2019, holidaymakers are getting ready to enjoy well-deserved holidays. What could be the impacts of Brexit on your holidays abroad? And what should you check before going abroad? Here is our quick guide to navigating the 2019 Summer season.
EHIC validity after Brexit
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) offers you medical protection when you are going abroad. The card entitles its cardholder to receive medical treatments abroad in case of emergency. It offers great peace of mind when you are going abroad. Please note that 1 card covers only 1 person. There is no special EHIC for families. Therefore each member of your family should have one.
If the UK leaves the EU with a deal, your EHIC will still be valid at least until the end of the transition period ending in 2020. Therefore you will still be able to travel abroad knowing that you are covered in case you need medical assistance. What happens at the end of the transition period is yet to be decided.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the card may not be valid on exit day and the following days. This disruption should stop as the UK will discuss new deals with the different members of the current EHIC deal. This information has yet to be confirmed.
The card is valid for up to 5 years. Remember to check it has not expired as 5 million cards expire each year. If you would like to use our submission service for a modest fee to renew your EHIC, please click here >
Currently, any UK citizen can travel to EU countries until the point his passport is not valid anymore. If the UK leaves the EU with a deal, things should not change and UK citizens should still be able to travel to Europe without a visa until the end of the transition period in 2020.
However, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK citizens will not be able to travel to the following countries if their passports have less than 6 months’ validity left: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Therefore you may need to renew your passport in advance to travel to EU countries.
If you would like advice, assistance to renew your passport or to use our done for you service, please click here >
Transports disruption during summer
Unite Union has announced a strike action in Heathrow Airport during the summer season. More than 4,000 employees have voted to walk over pay. Staff will walk out on 26 July, 27 July, 5 August, 6 August, 23 August and 24 August and Unite union has announced it would create “summer travel chaos”. The airport authorities have confirmed Heathrow would remain open and operate safely.
Planes, coaches and Eurostar should still be operating normally after Brexit. There will possibly be disruptions on Brexit day and the following week. The UK government is now warning travellers to get ready for Brexit disruptions. For now, the official leaving date is 31 October 2019, but things could be postponed. Indeed, the European Commission President Ursula Van der Leyen will grant an extension after October 2019.