Half term is right around the corner and with that comes hundreds of Britons jetting off to get their last dose of sun before winter comes. However, with the UK steaming ahead with Brexit plans, set to depart the EU on 31 October, the government has rolled out new passport requirements. At present, the requirements will only stand true if the UK leaves without a deal.
Should a deal be negotiated between European leaders, then a different set of rules and regulations surrounding EU travel may be in place.
For now, Britons jetting off on EU holidays this half term need not worry about their passport if they are travelling before Brexit.
However, close attention should be paid to updates in advance of the anticipated leave date.
The government has published a list of new guidelines on the Gov.uk website, addressing speculations around brand new passports, potential visas and duty-free changes.
A spokesperson from the Foreign Office spoke to the Express.co.uk stating: “If the UK leaves the European Union without a deal, visiting the EU will change.”
There are four main areas that will be affected, and the new guidelines surrounding each are causing confusion for many British travellers.
That means holiday hotspots including the South of France, Spain and Portugal could see changes to requirements for British tourists.
According to the FCO website, when travelling to Europe holidaymakers must ensure their passport has at least six months less and is less than 10 years old. Failure to follow these guidelines may mean travellers are barred from entry to their destination.
The website also encourages travellers to invest in appropriate travel insurance, complete with a health care plan.
While those holidaying in Europe are currently covered by European Health Insurance so long as they have a valid card. However, this perk will be withdrawn if a deal is not struck to maintain it.
“Check your passport, get travel insurance which covers your healthcare, check you have the right driving documents and organise pet travel,” advised the FCO spokesperson.
There has also been a rising concern surrounding visa requirements when visiting the continent.
Luckily, the FCO spokesperson has explained: “After Brexit, you will not need a visa for short trips, according to EU legislation.
“You could stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
“However, you may need a visa or permit to stay for longer, to study or for business travel.
“When the rules are confirmed, information about how to get a visa if you need one will be on each country’s travel advice page [on the FCO website].”
While some countries may enforce stricter rules, the outcome is largely uncertain for now.
The best thing to do is stay up-to-date on any announcements from the government, both if you’re travelling for half-term and in the future.