At Destinology our customers come first, and we would like to reassure all our customers that their 2019 holiday with us will remain the same and all bookings are fully protected by ABTA. Destinations outside the European Union will be unaffected.
Although we are all waiting to see what happens after 31st October 2019 when the UK is due to make decisions on the European Union, there have been a variety of reassurances given concerning flights and visa’s on the ABTA FAQ page.
Will my 2019/20 Holiday still go ahead?
If a deal is reached by the UK government and the EU on Brexit, then there will be a two-year transition period in place. Due to this, nothing will change until 31st December 2020.
In the event of a no deal Brexit, the European Commission has said that there will be no plans to stop or change flights to and from the UK and they will operate as normal. The UK government has offered similar assurances for EU airlines which you can read here.
What will happen if my holiday is cancelled? Would I get a full refund?
There is nothing to suggest that you will not be able to continue with your holiday plans after 31st October. Even in a no-deal scenario, the European Commission has said flights to and from the UK will still be able to operate.
Customers who book a package holiday with a UK travel company enjoy the most comprehensive consumer protection: if you book a package, your holiday will be protected under the Package Travel Regulations, meaning you have a right to a full refund if your holiday can no longer be provided.
What happens between now and 31st October?
Even in a no deal, the earliest we will leave the EU is 31st October 2019, this means everything will stay the same until that point and you can continue to travel as you do now.
If the UK Government agrees a Brexit deal, the UK will enter a transition period which would keep things as they are during this period, and holidaymakers and business travellers will continue to travel as they do now.
f the UK leaves the EU without a deal then there are some steps you may need to take to avoid any unnecessary disruption to your travel plans, as outlined below in our advice for travellers.
Check the date your passport expires. When travelling to the EU after 31st October 2019, the UK government recommends that you have six months left on your passport on the date of your arrival in an EU country.
You should also check when your passport was renewed. If you renewed a 10 year adult passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months over 10 years will not count towards the 6 months that must be remaining. The UK Government has published a website tool to check the validity of your passport under these rules.
You can renew your passport online or by going to a Post Office with a Check and Send service.
You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.
European Health Insurance Card and travel insurance
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows any EU citizen to access state medical care when they are travelling in another EU country. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, UK registered EHICs will no longer be valid.
ABTA has always advised holidaymakers and business travellers to make sure they have appropriate travel insurance, whether they have an EHIC card or not, as there are limitations to EHIC.
When travelling in the EU and beyond, it is important you take out travel insurance and check that it covers your current circumstances, including any medical conditions. If you have an annual policy, make sure you check the Terms and Conditions and contact your insurance provider if you’re not sure.
As long as you have a full UK driving licence, you don’t currently need an additional licence to drive in the EU. This is likely to change in a no-deal scenario. UK travellers looking to drive in the EU on or after 31st October 2019 may need to apply for the relevant International Driving Permit.
These cost £5.50 and are available directly from the Post Office. The Government has extended the network of Post Offices where you can apply for an International Driving Permit, find your nearest branch here.
Check carefully which permit is required for each country you intend to drive within, as you may need more than one permit to comply with the law.
You need to make sure you have your International Driving Permit before you travel from the UK as you will not be able to apply for this when you are in the EU.
Green cards for car insurance
If the UK leaves without a deal, UK citizens driving their vehicle within the EU would be required to obtain and carry a physical Green Card in order for your UK car insurance to be applicable in the EU. These cards would be issued by insurers and you may be charged a small fee to cover administration costs.
Speak with your insurer for more information on obtaining a Green Card for any trip on or after 31st October 2019.
The ABI – the trade body for the insurance industry – recommends you contact your car insurance company at least one month in advance of travelling.
Will I have to get a visa to travel to the EU?
The European Parliament has approved legal changes to ensure that UK citizens will not need a visa to travel to the EU for short stays after Brexit – even in the event of a no-deal exit.
Taking pets abroad
In the event of a no-deal, pets would continue to be able to travel from the UK to the EU, but the requirements for documents and health checks would change. If you wish to take your pet to the EU on or after 31st October 2019 pet owners would need to discuss preparations for their pet’s travel with an Official Veterinarian at least four months in advance of the date they wish to travel. Pet owners should keep an eye out for any further instructions issued by the UK Government.
Under EU rules, the cost of making calls, sending messages or using the internet on your phone in the EU is the same in the UK. If the UK leaves without a deal these rules will no longer apply – however, some UK companies have said they may continue to offer this benefit to their customers. Before you travel, check with your mobile phone provider about the costs of using your phone in the EU.
Will my cruise still go ahead if there is no exit deal reached?
Ferry services and cruises will still sail as the majority of the rules under which they operate are not based on EU rules, but are international. We advise taking out travel insurance for peace of mind and to make sure you have at least 6 months validity on your passport left before travelling.