Brexit and travelling to France: What does it mean for travel after January 31?

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Now that Brexit is done, Boris Johnson and his Government must negotiate the UK’s future relationship with the EU. Discussions on everything from trade to travel will take place throughout the year.

What does Brexit mean for travel after January 31?

The UK entered an 11-month transition period on January 31.

This gives the UK until December 2020 to finalise the country’s future relationship with the bloc.

Failure to find agreement by December 31 will lead to a no-deal scenario.

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Brexit and travelling to France: What does it mean for travel after January 31?

Brexit and travelling to France: What does it mean for travel after January 31? (Image: Getty)

Until that time, nothing will change with regards to travelling to the continent, citizens’ rights of EU residents and freedom of movement.

Travellers can continue to use their burgundy passports but they must be valid for six months from the date of travel.

The new blue passports will begin circulating in the coming months.

They will not include any reference to the European Union in them.

Brexit and travelling to France: What does it mean for travel after January 31?

Brexit and travelling to France: A continental breakfast (Image: Getty)

Brexit and travelling to France: What does it mean for travel after January 31?

Brexit and travelling to France: France is a popular ski holiday destination for Brits (Image: Getty)

Flights, trains and coach travel will continue to operate as usual.

Ferries and cruise ships, which are on the whole based on international rules rather than EU regulations, will sail as usual.

The Eurostar and Eurotunnel will also operate as usual for the time being.

If you’re planning on driving to France you won’t need any additional paperwork.

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All drivers need is an International Driving Permit; the current UK driving licence fulfils that criteria.

There’s also no requirement for a GB sticker or Green Card for car insurance.

The regulations around taking a pet abroad also stay the same after January 31.

The current data roaming arrangement which allows you to use your phone in the EU just as you would at home will remain in place until December 2020.

Brexit and travelling to France: What does it mean for travel after January 31?

Brexit and travelling to France: Trains to France will continue to operate as usual (Image: Getty)

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) gives EU citizens access to state medical care when travelling in another EU country and this will remain the case throughout 2020.

The EHIC also covers the non-EU countries of Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland

But the card won’t work in Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or the Vatican.

Regardless, tourists are advised to have appropriate travel insurance even if they have an EHIC card.

While travel to France and the EU won’t be affected during the transition period, this and everything mentioned above, could change in January 2021.

Those changes will all depend on the deal the UK is able to secure with the bloc and it’s possible that in future a visa might be needed to visit EU countries.

By default, those visiting the EU from abroad are required to have a Schengen visa, which costs €60 and lasts for 90 days.

The consensus so far has been the UK will agree a visa-waiver system called ETIAS that would last three years and cost €7.

In order for the UK to be part of the system, it would have to agree to a reciprocal right for EU travellers to visit the country visa-free.


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