Visiting the UK after Brexit

The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020.

However, a transitional period, during which the UK remained in the single market continued to follow European rules, extended to 31 December 2020

Now that the transition period has ended, a number of rules on travel, shopping, living and working in the UK are changing.

Scroll down for answers ....

Answers do not take into account COVID-19 regulations and links to official Government website's and current rules are at the bottom of the page.

ID Cards and Visas

Q. Will anything change for EU, EEA or Swiss citizens?

Until September 2021, you, as an EU citizen, can still travel to the UK with your identity card (or your passport), for a holiday or short stays of up to 6 months. 

From 1 October 2021, the UK government will only accept an international passport. There is no need for a visa.

You can continue to use your national ID card to enter the UK until at least 31 December 2025 if you:

  • have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • have a frontier worker permit
  • are an S2 Healthcare Visitor
  • are a Swiss Service Provider

If you are travelling to the UK, you are advised to consider private health insurance. The European Health Insurance Card will no longer be valid from 1 January. (Unless you already live in the UK, it will remain valid.)

Please note that work and study in the UK are subject to different rules and you do need a visa (see below).



Travel & Transport

Q. Do I now need an international driving licence in the UK?

If you have a non-UK driving licence you are able to drive in the UK. You do not need an international driving permit (IDP).

If you are driving your own car, make sure that you have valid insurance and that the papers are in the car.

Q. Can I still travel to and from the UK by plane?

The trade and cooperation agreement between the UK and EU, signed in December 2020, made agreements to ensure that air traffic could continue without any problems.

You can use automatic eGates, at some airports, if you have a biometric symbol on the cover of your passport and you are 12 or over. Using the eGates is usually faster.

Q. Can I still travel to and from the UK on the Euro Star?

 Euro star trains will still be running after 01 January 2021.

Check your ticket for your recommended arrival time and allow plenty of time to get through security and passport control.

Q. Will there be extra checked in airports and train stations for EU citizens?

The United Kingdom was not a member of the Schengen zone and as such identity checks were already strict.

You should not experience any difference in this security screening after 1st January 2021.

When you return to Europe customs may check your luggage.

Q. Can I take all the products I buy in the UK home?

No. Now that the UK is no longer part of the European Customs Union, you can't just take everything you buy in the UK to the EU.

From 1st January 2021 if you return by plane or ferry, the value of all the products you bring should not exceed 430 euros.

For Euro star travellers, the maximum value is 300 euros.

For example, from an EU member state you can bring 800 cigarettes, from the UK it will be only 200 or 16 litres of beer instead of 110 litres from an EU country and 4 litres of wine instead of 90.

From 2021 onwards, amount of 10,000 euros or more in cash have to be declared to customs .


Mobile Phone Roaming Charges

Q. Do I have to pay roaming charges again if I use my mobile phone in the UK?

The European Union has abolished so-called roaming charges.

Now that the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union, this ban on additional costs no longer applies and operators can therefore decide whether to apply roaming charges or not.

Whether you will have to pay more therefore depends on the operator you are a customer with.

A survey shows most mobile phone network operators in Belgium, France, Germany, and the Netherlands have not reintroduced roaming charges for their customers visiting the UK.

Always check with your service provider.



Useful Links

  • COVID-19 Regulations - Find out what the current rules are for residents and visitors to the UK during the pandemic

  • Brexit Rules - Get a get a personalised list of actions from the UK Government for you, and your family to plan your trip

  • Euro star - Traveling to London from Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam with Euro Star

  • EuroTunnel - Euro Tunnel Le Shuttle cross channel train service

  • P&O Ferries - Car and passengers ferries between Calais and Dover

Please note the information shared from GOV.UK is for England only unless specified otherwise.

Different rules may apply in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.


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Please feel free to get in touch if you cannot find the answer to your question above or would like more information about Changing the Guard.

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