Brexit Travel Advice
With the date for Brexit fast approaching, and the final terms of the UK's exit still to be agreed, there has been much concern amongst UK travellers about the impact of Brexit on their upcoming travel plans.
When it comes to your student group travel plans, you may have continued to plan your study trip as usual, or you may have held off on booking until there is more clarity over the terms of Brexit. However, recently the UK and the European Commission have issued reassurances over two of the main travel concerns post-Brexit; flights and visas.
Will flights still operate?
Reassurances have been given that regardless the outcome of Brexit planes will still fly between the UK and the EU.
If a deal is agreed then a transition period will be implemented, meaning that they'll be no changes until December 2020. In a no-deal scenario, the European Commission has said that UK airlines will still be able to operate flights between the UK and the EU.
Will your students need a visa for travel in Europe?
If a deal is agreed then a transition period will be implemented, meaning that they'll be no changes until December 2020. In a no-deal scenario, The European Commission has previously announced that even in a no-deal scenario, UK travellers can still visit the EU without a visa, providing the same is offered to European citizens visiting the UK. From 2021, UK citizens will need to pay a fee (of around 7 Euros) for this visa exemption, but prior to this UK citizens can travel within Europe without the need for a Visa.
Important Advice for Travellers
ABTA (the UK's travel trade association for tour operators and travel agents) has issued advice for travellers to consider before departure.
We would recommend that you advise all your students to check the date their passport expires. The UK government has recommended that all travellers have at least six months left on their passport, on the date of arrival to the EU country. They should also check when their passport was renewed; on a 10-year British passport, extra months may have been added, however these months will not count towards the 6 months remaining.
For anyone requiring a new passport, there may be a high level of demand for new passports, so it's best to renew sooner rather than later.
If travelling after 29th March 2019, you and your students can check the passport validity, by using the government's free passport checker tool.
European Health Insurance Card and Travel Insurance
As a member of the European Union, every EU citizen is given access to medical care when they are travelling to a European country. When Britain leaves the EU, the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) will no longer be valid. All travellers should have adequate travel insurance in place (that covers any pre-existing medical conditions), prior to departure.
StudyLink offer extensive group travel insurance at competitive rates, should this be required for your group.
Currently, anyone with a full UK driving license is permitted to drive within Europe. However, this is likely to change in the event of a no-deal scenario. Any UK travellers wishing to drive in the EU, on or after 29th March 2019 may need an international driving permit. These are available directly from the Post Office at a cost of £5.50.
Alternatively, StudyLink can arrange for pre-paid tickets on public transportation, or coach transportation for your entire group, whilst in destination.
Under current EU legislation, the cost for making calls, sending messages or using the internet on a mobile phone within the EU is the same as in the UK. If Britain leaves without a deal, this rule may no longer apply. Some phone companies may continue to offer this to their customers, however we would recommend that you and your students check with the phone provider prior to travel.