Before Brexit, a UK passport only needed to be valid to visit the EU, but the new rules state that passport holders must have at least six months before expiry to be granted entry. Worryingly, more than a third (35 per cent) of passport holders are unaware of these new passport requirements. Of those whose passports are within date, nearly a third (29 per cent) are due to expire in less than a year, while 11 per cent do not know how long they have until their passport expires.
The research reveals that only a quarter (26 per cent) of those who have checked their passport validity, have recently updated or applied to update their passport because of the new requirements. The standard service for passport renewal currently takes around ten weeks and costs £75.50 or £85 if using a paper form. Leaving renewal until the last minute could mean many travellers are caught out and unable to travel.
Over half are unaware of new healthcare rules
Under the new rules, European Health Insurance Cards are valid until their expiry date, but then individuals must apply for a new Global Health Insurance Card. More than half (57 per cent) of UK adults are unaware of this new rule. Moreover, over two thirds (69 per cent) are unsure when their EHIC expires, which could lead to problems if they fall ill while abroad since these cards cover state healthcare in most EU countries.
Leaving the EU has also changed the requirements for driving abroad; drivers taking their own cars to the continent now need a green card and a GB sticker. Of those who plan to drive abroad this year, 44 per cent have not applied for these items and do not currently meet the requirements to drive overseas, meaning they could be fined.
Chris King, Head of Travel Insurance at comparethemarket.com, said: “For most holidaymakers planning a trip abroad this year, it will be their first since the Brexit transition period ended on 31 December 2020. With new rules and constantly changing restrictions due to the pandemic - research is key.”