Although the majority of current travel-related discussions and ruminations have been about the “C” word, the “B” word is also an important consideration for our UK-based clients who are planning on travelling to Europe. With so many conflicting rumours and reports doing the rounds, we have sifted through to find out everything that we will need to know about visiting our featured destinations in 2021 and beyond.
As the advice from the British government tends to evolve and develop over time (much like a Grand Cru Claret!), we will continue to update this page so that you will always have the most up-to-date information. Please feel free to bookmark us and check back as your much-awaited trip nears its departure.
As the transition period of the UK’s departure from the EU ends on 31st December 2020, there are some extra steps that you may need to take to be ready for your Grape Escapes trip. ABTA and the Gov.uk web sites are the most reliable references for new, post Brexit travel requirements, however we have summarised the key considerations below for you.
You will need to have at last six months left on your British passport, and your passport needs to have been issued within the last ten years. You can check to see if you need to renew your passport on the Government’s passport checker.
The time that it takes to process your passport renewal varies greatly depending on the volume of applications, so we strongly advice renewing your passport as far in advance of your trip as possible to avoid any delays preventing you from travelling.
Good news! You won’t need a visa for travel to European countries for holidays. However, you will only be able to stay in Europe for 90 days in a 180-day period.
Healthcare and Insurance
We have always required our customers to have adequate travel insurance, however your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will continue to be valid up to its expiry date, and can then be replaced with the new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). See here for information about applying for a GHIC. ABTA also has some helpful advice about travel insurance here.
If you are driving to your Grape Escape, and you have a paper license or your driving license was issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man, you may need to apply for an international driving permit (IDP). These cost £5.50 and can be obtained from certain branches of the Post Office. See here for detailed information about driving permits.
All UK drivers will need a Green Card from your car insurer, which you will need to keep with you whenever you are driving on the trip. You should apply for your Green Card at least a month before your trip.
Bringing back wine from your holiday
Before Brexit, there was no limit on how much wine could be brought back from your European holiday, as long as it was for personal consumption. The new personal alcohol allowances are as follows: 42 litres of beer, 18 litres of still wine, 4 litres of spirits OR 9 litres of sparkling wine or fortified wine.
If you are bringing back more than the above amounts, you will need to make a declaration and pay any duty due here. Duty must be declared and paid before you enter the UK.