2020 saw many of us face a long list of travel challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, the start of a new year means most people will be looking to finally tick a few destinations off that travel bucket list.
Whilst we’re certainly not out of the woods yet, our fight against Covid-19 isn’t the only thing that could prevent us from seeing the world during 2021. The close of 2020 saw our departure from the European Union (EU) finally set in stone.
We may have escaped a ‘No Deal’, but the new Brexit arrangement could still affect how you holiday this year. Here’s how.
Free movement remains… for now
It was feared that our official departure from the EU would prevent the freedom of movement that so many people have taken for granted over the years.
The final Brexit deal, however, allows the restriction-free travel that those who love a European holiday have previously enjoyed.
This means you’ll still be able to travel to all EU countries – and Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein – without a visa.
Longer European stays are a no-no
Those wishing to extend their stay and make the most of that much longed-for holiday during 2021 may face restrictions under the new rules.
Under Brexit terms, all UK citizens will only be permitted to stay in the EU for up to 90 days during a 180-day period.
Those looking to stay a little longer and exceed the 90-day limit will have to apply for a permit or visa. This applies to those travelling for business or education too.
The 90-day limit however isn’t enforced in some EU countries. Cyprus, Croatia, Bulgaria, and Romania each have different rules. A holiday to any of these countries will not use up any of your EU travel allowance.
Holidays to second homes will be affected
People wanting to escape the UK to a second home in the sun will also be impacted by the Brexit deal and the new 90-day limit on European travel as the BBC explains:
“Under the rules of the deal, UK citizens will only be able to holiday in Spain or most other EU countries for a maximum of 90 days in any 180-day period.
The exceptions are Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania, which will not limit visits in this way. If you want to stay in Spain for longer than 90 days out of 180 then you will need to apply for a visa – that also applies to second homeowners.”
Checking your passport is now a priority
Checking you have enough time left on your passport is now a priority for those looking to holiday in Europe.
Your passport must be less than 10 years old and have at least six months left before the stated expiry date.
Those with less than six months on their passports can still holiday in Ireland as this is a part of the UK’s Common Travel Area.
Travel insurance is a must
We’d always recommend obtaining travel insurance to cover you and your family during an overseas trip, but from 1st January 2021, travel insurance becomes even more of a necessity.
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) that gave UK citizens access to free medical care within the EU is being phased out.
It will be replaced by a similar Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), but as with the EHIC, doesn’t provide the same comprehensive cover as travel insurance.
Visa-free travel will change in 2022
From 2022 onwards, frequent travellers to the EU will benefit from the soon-to-be imposed ETIAS visa waiver scheme.
The programme will allow UK citizens to pay a fee to visit as many EU member countries as they like.
The visa waiver scheme is similar to schemes already used in the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. It was developed before the UK’s Brexit referendum and will apply to citizens of all countries outside the European Union.
Forget Brexit! Choose a staycation
Avoid all the changes that go hand-in-hand with the new Brexit deal by staycationing with us. Our award-winning serviced apartments put you at the heart of the action in a quintessentially British city. With so much to see and do in Cambridge, you’ll discover there’s a lot to love on home turf.
Book your 2021 staycation in Cambridge right now and countdown to a truly unforgettable trip.
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