Abta has released new guidance on practical steps holidaymakers can take if they are planning a post-Brexit holiday.
The advice covers passports, health insurance, driving licences, car insurance, taking pets abroad, data roaming, flights, visas and holiday cancellations.
Abta members have been sent the new guidance and are being encouraged to share it with customers who are concerned or have queries about holidays they want to take after March 29, the date when the UK leaves the European Union.
Chief executive Mark Tanzer said the timing of the “belt and braces” guidance was because holidaymakers were now planning breaks for after March next year while a “no deal” scenario remained a possibility.
He said: “Even though there is uncertainty there are practical things members can be doing in their own businesses or to help their customers.
“There is a lot of uncertainty about the Brexit outcomes – one of them is that there is no deal.
“As we are now getting closer [to Brexit] and people are booking holidays, there will be questions about things that might change in a no deal scenario. There are actions holidaymakers can take, like checking their passports and getting international driving permits.”
Key points in the new guidance:
- For travel after March 29, check your passport’s expiry date to ensure you have at least six months left until it expires. More details.
- Make sure you have adequate travel insurance, including medical cover. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which currently allows EU citizens access to state medical care in another EU country, will not be valid in the event of a no-deal Brexit. More details.
- Driving licences. Under a no-deal Brexit, post March 29, it is likely UK travellers will need to apply for an international driving permit – and you could need different permits for different EU countries. These are available from the AA, RAC or the Post Office. Currently, UK drivers do not need an additional licence to drive in the EU. More details
- Green cards for car insurance. Without a deal, UK citizens driving their vehicle in the EU will need to obtain and carry a Green Card. These will be available from insurers.
- Taking pets abroad. Under a no-deal, the requirements for documents and health checks for taking pets abroad would change. UK travellers should discuss preparations for their pet’s travel with an official vet at least four months in advance of their departure. More details
- Data roaming. Current rules, which keep the cost of calls, messages and internet usage the same in the EU as it is in the UK, will not apply under a no deal Brexit. Check with your mobile phone provider before travel.
The guidance also answers key questions on flights and visa travel post-Brexit.
If a deal is agreed the UK will be in a transition period and flights will operate as normal until December 2020. Even in a no-deal, the European Commission has said UK airlines will be able to fly between the UK and the EU.
Similarly, even in a no-deal scenario, UK travellers will still be able to visit the EU without a visa, provided the same is offered to European citizens visiting the UK.
Abta has also advised in its guidance that holidaymakers who book to travel after March 29 and then find their holiday cannot go ahead due to Brexit will get a full refund if it is a package holiday with a UK travel company.
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