Brexit – how will it affect your travel plans? **See our February 2020 blog for the latest update**

Documents for travel

Travelling after Brexit – what happens if we leave the EU without a deal? We’ve provided a checklist for those travelling to the EU after 31st October 2019, along with useful links to help you on your way.


Ensure that every member of your group holds a valid UK Passport with at least 6 months validity left on it. It’s worth using this link handy online checker provided by the Passport Office which can advise you on whether or not your need to renew your Passport.

All Group Leaders must have details of their accommodation booking and return journey details to hand, either as a hard copy or on your phone.  If the UK leaves without a deal, Border Officials may ask for evidence of “sufficient means of subsistence” for the group’s intended stay as well as their return journey details.

In the early stages of post-Brexit, ensure you allow more time than usual at ferry terminals and airports, as there are likely to be long delays and congestion.

Will we need a Visa to travel to the EU?

No. It has been confirmed by the European Commission that British travellers will not need visas to travel to the European Union on short stays, even if there is a no-deal Brexit.

Will the rules for passports change if we leave the EU without a deal?

Yes, the rules for travel from the UK to the EU will change on 31 October 2019. The Government states that all British citizens travelling to most EU countries, after exiting the European Union will need at least 6 months validity on their passports. It is likely it will take more than the usual 3 weeks to renew your passport, therefore all travellers should allow plenty of time for passport renewal before their departure date. If you do not have 6 months validity, you may be denied entry to EU countries after Brexit. You can use a tool to check whether your passport is valid for the country you’re visiting.

At the moment, there is no published advice relating to changes to collective passports for school groups.

What about EHIC cards?

You will no longer be able to use EHIC cards (which give access to state healthcare in most EU countries) after Brexit, unless your treatment started the day before exit day. So please ensure you have suitable travel insurance and that you check the wording of your policy carefully, especially if you hold an annual insurance policy.

What about flights to and from the EU?

Reassurance from both the UK government and European Commission have been given to confirm that flights to and from the EU will continue as before. However, do beware, that if you are travelling near to the Brexit date there may be some disruptions so please allow extra time to check-in for your flights.

Will there be any change to my Channel crossing?

The Channel Tunnel will be open and operating as usual after Brexit. Most ferry services sail and operate under international rules and, therefore, will not be affected by Brexit changes. Coach groups may experience a build-up of traffic around the ports but we will factor this into your itinerary.

Will it cost more to use my mobile phone in the EU?

Potentially, yes. After Brexit, the guarantee of free mobile phone roaming throughout the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will end. We recommend that you check with your mobile phone operator about any charges before you travel. Also, to avoid any unforeseen roaming charges, you should find out how to turn off data roaming before departing the UK.

Should I avoid travelling to the EU?

We believe that the benefits of a trip outweigh any potential short-term disruption to your group’s travel arrangements. And remember, another advantage of booking with a specialist tour operator like COGO Travel, is that we offer 24/7 emergency assistance throughout the duration of your trip.

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