Vacation in the UK: what Brexit will change when it comes to travel

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What changes for travelers with the Brexit agreement

Brexit will not change too much for travelers destined for Great Britain. The most important difference concerns – but not immediately – the travel document required. Many rights remain with vacationers. An overview of the new rules.

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These are the most important points in the Brexit deal

“Good news: this is a deal!” Proclaimed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in his Christmas address. But what exactly does the long-awaited Brexit deal entail? And what changes now for holidaymakers?

Dhe Brexit transition phase will end at the end of 2020. Now the new trade agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom (UK) will take effect. But how does this affect people with travel plans to the British Isles?

Passport instead of identity card

The most important change will not take effect until autumn: From October 1, 2021, a passport like this will be required to enter Great Britain and Northern Ireland European consumer center Germany (EVZ) explained. The citizen’s office at the home town issues the passport. The Amount of costs depends on the age of the applicant, the number of pages and the processing time.

The identity card, on the other hand, will only be accepted for entry until September 30, 2021. However, holidaymakers still do not need to apply for a UK visa.

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There is an exception to the requirement for a passport for certain people: Anyone who has a “settled” or “pre-settled” status, is a cross-border commuter or an “S2 Healthcare Visitor” can use their ID card to enter the country until December 31, 2025 , explains the EVZ.

If you rent a rental car for a tour in Great Britain, you can continue to use the German, European or international driver’s license.

European health insurance card still accepted

And there is still good news for travelers: the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) issued by German health insurance companies and the Provisional Replacement Certificate (PEB) remain valid for holiday trips.

After Brexit: Anyone who wants to go on vacation to London as an EU citizen needs a passport from October 2021

If you are an EU citizen who would like to go on a city trip to London, for example, you need a passport from October 2021

Source: dpa-tmn / Michael Kappeler

With the EHIC, travelers within the EU as well as in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom can go to the doctor in an emergency and receive the same benefits as the citizens of the respective country of travel. The costs for emergency treatment are covered by the health insurance.

However, consumer advocates generally recommend additional travel health insurance for trips outside of Germany because health insurance companies often do not reimburse all treatment costs.

Passenger rights on flights between EU and UK

The EU passenger rights apply to all flights that start within the EU and to all flights that land in the EU if the airline is based in the EU. They regulate the amount of compensation, for example if an aircraft breaks down or is significantly delayed.

From January 1, 2021, it will look like this: The rights continue to apply to all flights from the United Kingdom – and to flights from the EU there by airlines based in the EU. However, they no longer apply if you are flying to the EU from a third country such as the USA with a British airline.

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Anyone traveling to Great Britain on the Eurostar train or a long-distance bus will continue to have the relevant passenger rights, for example in the event of delays. According to the EVZ, EU legislation is in each case in british law been convicted.

What applies to roaming costs

In the EU there are no longer any roaming charges for phone calls using smartphones and for mobile surfing. This rule no longer applies to the United Kingdom. However, German network operators have announced that they do not want to change any existing tariffs for the time being. If in doubt, consumers should ask their provider about the specific costs before traveling.

Due to the corona pandemic, the number of trips from Germany to Great Britain and Northern Ireland is currently significantly lower than in previous years. The Foreign Office warns in his travel advice prior to unnecessary tourist travel anywhere in the UK. The travel law regulations for the post-Brexit period will therefore only become immediately noticeable for many people when the travel volume increases again in the future.

Changes to customs due to Brexit

After the end of the Brexit transition phase, there are hardly any effects on travel and goods traffic at Frankfurt Airport. There is no increased workload either in the international post center or in customs clearance at the airport, said a spokeswoman for the Frankfurt customs office.

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Significance for Germany

Since January 1, 2021, all freight, travel and mail are subject to the general customs regulations and customs controls. Travelers entering Germany from the UK now have to pay customs duties for goods they have purchased above a certain value. As in the case of other non-EU countries, goods up to a value of EUR 430 can be imported duty-free as a travel allowance.

Also because the corona pandemic is slowing down flight and travel volumes anyway, the end of the Brexit transition phase does not mean longer queues at immigration controls. “So far there has been little impact,” said a spokesman for the federal police.

“This is a unique moment for our country”

Great Britain sealed the final break with the European Union and left the EU internal market and the customs union at midnight. Despite the trade pact, there are major changes on both sides of the English Channel.


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