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Foreign Office clarifies passport validity rules for EU

The Foreign Office has updated its travel advice for European Union countries to clarify the requirements for passport validity.

It follows confusion among travellers and reports of passengers being wrongly turned away by airlines.

Under the heading ‘Passport validity’, the update says: “If you are planning to travel to an EU country (except Ireland), or Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or Vatican City, you must follow the Schengen area passport requirements.

“Your passport must be:

• issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country (check the ‘date of issue’)

• valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

“You must check your passport meets these requirements before you travel. If your passport was issued before 1 October 2018, extra months may have been added to its expiry date.


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“Contact the embassy of the country you are visiting if you think that your passport does not meet both these requirements. Renew your passport if you need to.”

The updates were issued on Thursday (May 12) for more than European 30 countries including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece and Portugal.

• Meanwhile, the NHS has extended the validity of barcodes on Covid-19 passes to six months, so travellers no longer need to download, print or save a new copy every 30 days since.

Covid passes are required to show proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test result for entry to some countries.

Previously, the barcode on the digital passes expired after 30 days.

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