30 Jan

Brexit: What does it mean for tourists and holiday homeowners?

The dreaded B-word… Brexit. We know, a lot of people are confused as to what it truly means for Britain and the truth is, we really don’t know yet. Are we in, are we out yet? Have we left the EU yet? Will we be better or worse for leaving the EU? Truthfully, only time will tell.

At Vintage Travel, we are certainly no expert when it comes to Brexit but we feel strongly about keeping our customers up to date with all the latest information, whether it may be speculation, future prospects or simply false.

So, for the time being, why don’t we ask the questions ‘what can it mean for tourists and holiday homeowners?’

Visiting Europe

As A Tourist

It is certain that if the UK leaves the EU with a no-deal, travelling to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein will change. You may need to check your passport, get travel insurance to make sure it covers your healthcare, check you have the right driving documents and if you are travelling with a pet, make sure you contact your vet at least 4 months prior to your travels.

For Business Purposes

If you are travelling for business purposes, there are extra requirements you may need to think about. As well as the actions all travellers need to take, business travel includes various activities such as meetings, touring, conferences and so on.

Particular countries may have their own entry requirements so if anything does change, it is difficult to determine what requirements will be necessary.

Professional qualifications may need to be identified and recognised if you provide legal services in the EU.

Insurance will need to be checked and reassessed, especially indemnity insurance for your employees.

Pet Travel

We all know that your pets can be the centre of your life and thus want your fur babies to enjoy your holiday too. When it comes to pet travel after Brexit, whether we leave with a deal or a no-deal, there are three categories in the EU pet travel scheme; unlisted, part 1 listed and part 2 listed. At the moment we are unsure what the changes will be, but pet travel requirements will change depending on negotiations. If the UK is to leave with a no-deal Brexit, it is likely to be treated as an unlisted country under the EU pet travel scheme.

No Deal Brexit?

A current EU pet passport issued in the UK will not be valid for travel to EU countries. Before your pet can travel, you will need to take the following steps:

  • Dogs, cats and ferrets must be microchipped
  • You must inform your vet at least 4 months before travelling
  • Pets must be vaccinated against rabies
  • Your pet must have a blood sample taken at least 30 days after its latest rabies vaccination (this can include the pets booster or initial vaccination).
  • Your pet’s blood sample will be sent to an EU-approved blood testing lab
  • Wait 3 months from the date of the successful blood sample was taken before you can travel.
  • The vet must provide you with a copy of the test results and enter the date the blood sample was taken in an animal health certificate (AHC).

It is important you follow and abide by these rules, as you will not be able to travel if you have not completed them. Visit the Gov.UK website for more guidance on animal health care certificates, arriving in the EU and repeat trips to the EU.

EU Holiday Homeowners

As it currently stands, for UK nationals in the EU, there will be no change to your rights and status as a UK national living in the EU until after Brexit. At the moment, you can still work, access healthcare and collect your pension as you currently do. Citizens’ rights are at the forefront of the Withdrawal Agreement. The Withdrawal Agreement will secure your rights and allows you to stay in the EU country where you live after Brexit. You and your family may need to apply for a residence status to confirm that you were already resident in the EU country you live in before the 31st of December 2020 and you will have until around the 30th June 2021 to do this. This will include applying for residency status application which should be either free of charge or cost no more than applying for a similar document, i.e. passport.

Permanent residency

You will be able to exchange a valid permanent residence document for a new residence document before the 31st of December 2020. This also applies to valid domestic immigration documents that confirm your permanent right to live in a country. With this particular residency document, you may need to provide proof of identity and undergo criminality checks and security checks.

Healthcare & Pensions

As stated previously, your current rights to healthcare will remain the same as long as you remain covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. EHIC cards will remain valid in EU countries until the end of the implementation period (31st December 2020). Alongside your EHIC card, you should ensure that you have valid travel insurance too.

If you currently receive a UK state pension, this will continue to work the same as long as you remain covered by the Withdrawal Agreement.

Owning or renting a property in the EU

If you own or rent a property in the EU, Brexit will not change the rules regarding property ownership or rent. Similarly, taxation and shared ownership will not change. However, if you are buying a new property you may need to check with local authorities as some EU countries have different acquisition laws for EU citizens and non-EU citizens.

Q & A

I currently live in an EU country, but what happens if I want to return to the UK?

If you are wanting to return to the UK, your right to live, work and access benefits and services in the UK will not change after Brexit.

I currently live in an EU country and want my partner to come out and join me, is this allowed?

Your partner will be able to join you after the end of the implementation period under current EU rules. However, the relationship must have begun before the end of the implementation period (31st December 2020).

I am going on holiday for 4 weeks and want my pet to join me, what do I need to do?

In order for your cat, dog or ferret to join you on holiday, you will need to follow the seven steps above. This includes microchipping, vaccination, proof of vaccination and blood results along with approval and evidence from your vet. Be sure to inform your vet at least 4 months before taking your pet to an EU country.

My Spouse and I want to move to Spain, how can we prepare myself for Brexit?

If you are wanting to stay in Spain for more than 3 months, you must register as a Spanish resident. You will get a green A4 certificate or credit card sizes piece of paper from Extranjeria or the police. You should also register for healthcare as a resident in Spain, check your passport is valid and exchange your UK driving license for a Spanish one. Visit the Gov.UK, Living in Spain page for more details.

Due to agreements and negotiations still on-going, the information provided above may change.