Brexit advice for travellers
ABTA has taken the opportunity to calm concerns about the impact of a no-deal Brexit in its annual Christmas getaway predictions.
Each year the association issues a press release in the lead-up to Christmas saying how many people are expected to travel over the festive period.
This year it expects over 4.7 million passengers to head overseas over the Christmas and New Year period, with December 21 expected to be the busiest day to travel and Christmas Day the quietest.
Meanwhile, many of those who are not travelling will use the time to start planning and booking next year’s summer break, it said.
“Over the Christmas period, lots of people will also start to plan and book their summer holidays, and naturally they have questions about what Brexit means for travel,” said chief executive Mark Tanzer.
“However, travellers can be reassured that regardless of the Brexit outcome, the EU and UK Government have said planes will still fly between the UK and the EU and travellers won’t need a visa.”
ABTA said Europe remains the number one destination people plan to travel to next year.
“There have been assurances recently from the European Commission and UK Government that, even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, flights will continue to fly between the UK and the EU and that UK visitors to EU countries won’t need a visa. ABTA is also providing practical advice to holidaymakers including on issues such as passports and driving licences via abta.com/Brexit.”
Here’s the advice ABTA is giving to consumers.
Brexit: advice for travellers
Will flights still operate?
UK citizens can be reassured that regardless of the Brexit outcome planes will still fly between the UK and the EU: if a deal is agreed then we will be in a transition period, meaning everything will stay the same until the end of December 2020 and flights will continue as normal. Even if we are in a no-deal scenario, the European Commission and UK Government have said that UK airlines will still be able to operate flights between the UK and the EU. The UK government has offered similar assurances for EU airlines.
Will I need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit?
You shouldn’t need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit. The European Commission announced in November 2018 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. ~The European Commission has said that from 2021, UK citizens will need to pay a fee (of around 7 Euros) for this visa exemption. This is part of a new electronic travel authorisation system applying to all third country visitors to the EU, similar to the US ESTA regime.
What happens if I book to travel after 29 March 2019 and my holiday cannot go ahead due to Brexit?
There is nothing to suggest that you will not be able to continue with your holiday plans after 29 March. Even in a no-deal scenario, the European Commission and UK Government have said flights to and from the UK will still be able to operate. Customers who book a package holiday with a UK travel company enjoy the most comprehensive consumer protection: if you book a package, your holiday will be protected under the Package Travel Regulations, meaning you have a right to a full refund if your holiday can no longer be provided.
We have also identified actions travellers may wish to take in advance to help avoid unnecessary future disruption in the event of a no-deal scenario.
The full advice is available at abta.com/brexit