New travelling rules for UK citizens

In this article

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 citizens.
Read more: What is ETIAS?
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 match.
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 into consideration.
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.
Read more: ETIAS Countries
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.
Written by: Fikayomi Abisola
Abisola is an ETIAS Travel and Immigration writer with several years of writing experience in the industry. Abisola has a unique enthusiasm for travels, tours, and tourism and loves to educate travellers about the criteria involved in international travelling.

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