New travelling rules for UK citizens
Since the UK officially left the EU on January 1, 2021, there have been some
changes for travelling between the UK and Europe. UK nationals can visit the
Schengen Zone without requiring a visa, but they need an ETIAS
that will be valid
for a limit of 90 days if the purpose of travel is for tourism, visiting family
or friends, business, or short-term studies.
Britons are also urged to check that they have at least 3 months of validity left
on their passport. If there is a requirement to apply for a new passport, then UK
citizens should give as much time as possible for the application to go through
as it could take significantly longer than previous applications. When in the
Schengen Zone, it is also recommended that passports are always carried by UK
Another change that has happened due to Brexit is that travelers from the UK will
no longer be able to enter the EU lane at border control and this means that
waiting times could be much longer than travelers are used to experiencing.
Due to no longer being members of the EU, border control checks and requirements
may be more comprehensive for UK citizens. The British Embassy in Madrid recently
shared updated advice for UK travelers entering Spain, due to the large number of
Liverpool Football Club supporters travelling to Madrid for a Champions League
The update reads:
“Your passport is usually stamped on entry and exit unless you can demonstrate
that you are a resident of Spain. You may also need to show: a return or onward
ticket, enough money for your stay, proof of accommodation for your stay, for
example, a hotel booking confirmation, proof of address if visiting your own
property (for example, a second home), or an invitation from your host or proof
of their address if staying with a third party, friends or family.”
Because of these changes, it may affect how quickly UK citizens are able to exit
the airport and therefore when booking transport, these changes should be taken
UK citizens are also advised to keep a physical copy of their passport in case it
gets lost, as it would now be more difficult to arrange emergency travel documents.
Even though Brexit was formally completed almost two years ago, due to the
pandemic, many people have not been able to travel abroad so this is the first
time that many people will experience the new requirements when visiting anywhere
in the EU.
Now that travel restrictions have been relaxed, high volumes of UK citizens have
been booking holidays to popular holiday destinations. Over the peak times such
as school holidays, waiting times at border control could be particularly long at
some destinations, depending on border control staffing levels and what the rules
are for the country that is being entered. It is also advised that UK citizens
keep up to date with travel restrictions news, with COVID-19 cases growing in the
UK, as countries may decide to place stricter travel restrictions again.