Three years and seven months after the referendum on the permanence of the United Kingdom in the European Union, the resignation of two British prime ministers, and several departure dates postponed later, finally, Brexit was applied. But although as of today the country is no longer part of the European Union, and its politicians will no longer have the right to vote on internal decisions in Europe, things will not change abruptly.
The United Kingdom has entered a transitional period planned until the end of this year, and until then, few changes will be seen for the British and European citizens.
It is true, on 31 January 2020 put an end to 47 years of British membership in the European Union, but how will it affect the Brexit to our rights as travelers? We will explain it below.
The first thing to keep in mind is that, according to the Withdrawal Agreement, EU legislation will apply until the end of the transitional period planned for December 31, 2020. This regulation allows the free movement of people and workers, so the holidays of European citizens will continue as usual until 2021.
It had been speculated that the transition could be extended, but Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said earlier this week that: “at the EU level it is accepted, and I agree, that it is very unlikely that the United Kingdom will seek to extend the transition period.”
The transition period ends on December 31, 2020
Therefore, EU members may travel to the United Kingdom with their national identity document until December 31 of this year. After that date, it is very likely that the National identity documents are no longer accepted and it is necessary to have a passport instead.
According to the official website of the British government, those who began to live in the United Kingdom before December 31, 2020, and have the status of EU citizens (EU Settlement Scheme), may use their national identity document to enter the Kingdom United until at least December 31, 2025.
It seems that after the transitional period, European citizens will not need a visa for stays of less than 90 days in Great Britain. Those travelers who already required a visa to enter the United Kingdom will still need it. The waiting time to go through border controls may increase, whether at airports, stations or ports.
One option is that the admissions unfold, one for British and one for EU citizens with more exhaustive controls that could include questions about the reason for the visit, the amount of money available for the trip and how much time is going to be the stay.
In the case of having organized a trip to the United Kingdom, by plane this year, everything will remain the same. No change in flight permits will change until the end of the transition period, and airlines will be able to operate smoothly between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
Nor will there be changes in mobile phone roaming rates while the United Kingdom is in the transition period. In theory, when this period ends, mobile operators may implement additional charges, but the main British operators, Three, EE, Vodafone, and O2, have announced that they are not considering introducing changes after Brexit.
The CEAM, the European medical insurance card that currently allows any European citizen to access medical services in any EU country, will be valid throughout 2020. The Withdrawal Agreement does not establish that the European health card can be used on future vacations, in the United Kingdom, after the transitional period.
Travel with pets will also be affected
At present, and until the end of the transition period, dogs, cats, and ferrets can travel freely through the EU with a European pet passport. This will change after the transition period. From then on, “you cannot use the existing pet passport scheme. Instead, you must follow a different process, which takes four months, ”says the British government on its website. The new process is likely to include vaccinations and additional certificates.
If you live in the United Kingdom, we invite you to explain and share your experience with Brexit with other readers. Write to us telling your story, attaching your personal data, via firstname.lastname@example.org.