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How you can travel in the EU after Brexit

Your key questions answered

Find out what Brexit could mean for your travel plans with this summary of some of the key points.

Can I still get access to free or cheap healthcare on holiday in the EU?

You can get access to medical treatment while you’re on holiday or travelling in the EU at a reduced cost or for free if you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) that remains in-date. This entitles you as a British traveller to state-provided healthcare in the EU, but it will no longer be valid in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

If the EHIC is out of date, then you can apply for a new Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which provides similar benefits.

You can still apply for a UK-issued EHIC that is valid in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland if you are

  • an EU, Norwegian, Icelandic, Liechtenstein or Swiss national, and started living in the UK before 1 January 2021
  • receiving a UK State Pension or some other ‘exportable benefits’, and started living in the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland before 1 January 2021
  • a ‘frontier worker’ (someone who works in one state and lives in another), and started being one before 1 January 2021, for as long as you continue to be a frontier worker in the host state
  • an eligible family member or dependant of one of the above

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EU travel costs

Are there any other EU travel costs or changes after Brexit?

If you’re a tourist, you won't need a visa for short trips to EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. You’ll be able to stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. However, you may need a visa or permit to stay for longer, to work or study, or for business travel. You may also need to show a return or onward ticket, and that you have enough money for the length of your stay.

You should check each country’s travel advice page for information on how to get a visa or permit. Travel to Ireland has not changed. You’ll also be able to work in Ireland in the same way as before. Find out more here.

Meanwhile, the usual fluctuations in the pound’s value against the euro mean you might feel like you have more or less to spend when you’re abroad in the coming months.

Get your travel money delivered to your home in the UK for free with our Foreign Currency service. The minimum order amount is £50, and you can also collect in branch.

Find out more about our Foreign Currency service.

How else will travel to the EU be affected?

To travel to the EU (excluding Ireland), your passport needs to have at least six months left before it expires, and be less than 10 years old.

If your passport is due to expire in the next six months, now’s the time to renew it. A standard passport costs £75.50 to renew, although you can pay more for a quicker service.

If you are travelling to the EU with pets, you won’t be able to use the pet passport scheme. Instead, you will need to apply for an Animal Health Certificate (AHC). Allow at least one month to apply for this and get the relevant vaccinations for your pet. Find out more here.

If you are planning to drive abroad and are taking your own car, you’ll need a Green Card from your insurance company and a GB sticker that’s clearly visible on your car. You may also need an International Driving Permit to drive in some EU countries and Norway if you have a paper licence or a licence issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man.

It’s also the case that you’ll need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in some countries from 2021. Check if you need an IDP.

If you’re taking your own vehicle, you’ll also need a ‘green card’ document from your insurance company, and a GB sticker clearly visible on your car.

When the transition period ends on 31 December 2020, there may be new arrangements for British passport holders checking in for flights, so allow extra time if you’re checking in at the airport.

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Using your card abroad

Can I use my debit or credit card in Europe?
Yes, you’ll still be able to use your debit card and Barclaycard in Europe to withdraw cash and pay for things in the same way you do today.

Will there be any higher charges for using my card to buy goods online from EU countries?
We won’t charge you any extra to use your Barclays debit or credit card to make online purchases from the EU. However, retailers in the EU now face a new higher so-called ‘interchange’ fee from payment service providers – and could decide to pass this onto customers who use their bank card in the form of higher prices.

What about charges for withdrawals at cash machines?
We won’t charge you any extra to use your Barclays bank cards at a cash machine in Europe.

Can I still make payments to Europe and receive payments from Europe?
Yes, you’ll still be able to make and receive payments to and from Europe as you did before.

Can I still use my app and Online Banking when I’m in Europe?
Yes, you can still use the Barclays app, Barclaycard app and Online Banking to manage your money on the go. This will depend on having internet access through your provider, and they may charge you for using the internet or data abroad.

Can I still exchange euros into sterling, and vice versa?
Yes – the way you exchange currency hasn’t changed.

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Will I need a new passport to travel to Europe?

You may need to renew your British passport earlier. To travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland), on the day of travel, your passport will need to both

  •  Have at least six months left
  • Be less than 10 years old (even if it has six months or more left)

This information may change so always read the government's passport rules before travelling, and check the foreign travel advice for the country you’re visiting.

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Barclays Travel Pack

Does my Barclays Travel Pack still cover me on holiday?
Yes, your travel insurance still covers you for trips to Europe. Before travelling you should always check our Travel Pack and Travel Plus Pack guides to make sure you have the level of cover you need.

I have a Barclays Travel Pack – can I still use an airport lounge on my way home from a holiday?
Yes, you can still use an airport lounge the same way as you did before. Download the Traveller Plus app from your phone’s app store to check availability before you travel.

I have a Barclays Travel Pack – is my European breakdown cover still valid?
Yes, you’ll still be covered in the same way you were before. You may also need some additional documents if you’re planning to drive in Europe. To find out more about what you’ll need, read the government’s guide to visiting Europe from January 1 2021.

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Have the rules on driving in the EU changed?

You will need to carry your driving licence with you when driving in the EU, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein, but for most people an international driving permit (IDP) will not be needed.

However, you may need an IDP to drive in some EU countries and Norway if you have a paper licence or a licence that was issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man. You won’t need an IDP to drive in Ireland if you have a UK driving licence.

IDPs are available over the counter at the Post Office.

If you’re taking your own vehicle to drive in Europe – including Ireland – you’ll need a Green Card to prove your car insurance is valid. You’ll also need to display a GB sticker when driving your own car in the EU, although that isn’t required when driving in Ireland.

Matt Oliver, car insurance expert at GoCompare, explains: “Insurers issue Green Cards, so make sure you’re getting in touch with them directly if you’re planning a trip to avoid being caught out.

“The Association of British Insurers recommends contacting your provider at least four weeks before you travel to seek advice and get sorted with a card.”

Read our guide to seven key questions and answers about Brexit

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What happens if I'm a victim of fraud when travelling in Europe?

If you’re a victim of card fraud in the UK or in Europe, you should always contact us straight away. Please call 0800 3891 652 (+44 160 452 9410 from abroad) for Barclays, or 0800 151 0900 (+44 1452 828 309 from abroad) for Barclaycard.

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Other Brexit resources you might find helpful

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What Brexit means for you

Helping you to make the most of the UK’s new relationship with the EU

A new era has begun for the UK and EU now that the Brexit transition period is over. To help you understand how this could affect you and what it means for your finances, we’ve put together a series of guides, articles and Q&As to support you and help you feel more confident about the future.

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If you live outside of the UK or you’re planning to move abroad in the future, you could face changes to your banking and investment products and services.

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We’ve put together a series of articles and guides to support you and your business, and help you feel more confident about the future.