Changes to travelling to the EU and access to healthcare after Brexit

There are likely to be some changes to the rules around travelling if the UK leaves the EU on 31 October 2019. Find out more about what could change and what to do if you’re affected.

Will I still be able to travel to the EU after Brexit?

UK leaves with or without a deal

You’ll still be able to go the EU, but you will have to check a few things, and possibly apply for extra documents.

Before you book your travel, you need to check both adult and child passports have at least six months to run before they expire.

Any new rules will apply to passports issued by the UK, Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey.

Early renewal of ten-year adult passports

If you renewed a ten-year adult passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your new passport’s expiry date, making it valid for more than ten years.

Any extra months on your passport over the ten-year limit may not count towards the six months that must be remaining on your passport for travel to most countries in Europe.

Will my EHIC be valid after Brexit if I visit or live in the EU or EEA?

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), gives you access to state healthcare in the European Economic Area (EEA), plus Switzerland. You’re effectively treated as a resident of the country you’re in, either at a reduced cost or for free by the state healthcare system.

UK leaves with a deal

From October 2019 until December 2020, the EHIC will work just as it works now, as long as the withdrawal agreement is passed by the UK government.

After December 2020, the EHIC could work as it does now, but this depends on what is decided.

UK leaves without a deal

After 31 October 2019 it’s possible you may lose free or reduced cost access to EU healthcare if the government and EU fail to reach an agreement on access to healthcare for British holidaymakers and expats.

We highly recommend you still take out travel insurance to make sure you’re covered.

EHIC schemes will come to an end and S1 forms will not be valid for UK pensioners already living in the EU after a no deal Brexit. UK pensioners should ensure that their health registration is all in order before 31 October 2019.

Travel insurance and getting ill or injured abroad

UK leaves with a deal or no deal

You should make sure you understand the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy, and that you are happy with the level of healthcare and travel disruption cover it provides.

If you already have travel insurance to cover your trip, your insurer should let you know if there will be any changes to the way your policy is serviced after the UK leaves the EU.

If you have questions about what your travel insurance policy covers you should contact your insurer.

Access to healthcare if you’re an EU national living in the UK

UK leaves with a deal

There will be no change to the rights and status of EU nationals currently living in the UK on 31 October 2019 until 30 June 2021. That means you’ll be able to access the NHS free of charge if you are ordinarily resident in the UK.

However, you and your family should apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK and protect your ability to access healthcare. The scheme will open fully by 30 March 2019.

Can I still claim compensation for my delayed flight after Brexit?

UK leaves with a deal or no deal

EU Regulation 261 establishes the rights of passengers – including their right to compensation and assistance – if they are denied boarding against their will, or if their flight is cancelled or delayed.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, for air passengers on a flight departing the UK, the same passenger rights as apply today would continue to apply after the UK has left the EU. EU passenger rights legislation will be retained in domestic law by the Withdrawal Act. This means that passengers subject to denied boarding, delay or cancellation, would be entitled to assistance and compensation on the same basis as today.

If the UK leaves the EU with a deal, the current passenger rights arrangements will continue to apply.

Will roaming charges come back for using mobile phones in the EU?

UK leaves with a deal

Free roaming would be kept until the end of the Implementation Period.

After that, it would depend on what the UK and EU decide to include as part of a future deal.

The four main mobile operators - EE, O2, Three and Vodafone - have said they have no current plans to reintroduce roaming surcharges.

UK leaves without a deal

In the event that we leave the EU without a deal, the costs that EU mobile operators would be able to charge UK operators for providing roaming services would no longer be regulated after October 2019. This would mean that surcharge-free roaming when you travel to the EU could no longer be guaranteed.

The four main mobile operators - EE, O2, Three and Vodafone - have said they have no current plans to reintroduce roaming surcharges.

The UK Government is passing a law to make sure operators continue to prevent your data roaming charges going beyond £45 per monthly billing period unless you actively choose to use more data. But you should check what your mobile network says about roaming before you travel abroad.

Can I travel with my pets between the UK and the EU after Brexit?

UK leaves with a deal or no deal

Yes, UK citizens will still be able to take dogs, cats (and ferrets) to and from the UK after the UK leaves the EU.

To make sure your pet can travel from the UK to the EU after 31 October 2019 in any scenario, you should contact your vet. Do this at least 4 months before travelling to get the latest advice. More information on the health preparations and documents you would need for travel to the EU including information on the documents required to enter or re-enter the UK is available on GOV.UK.

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