As you think about your upcoming travel plans, you may have questions about what might happen when the UK leaves the European Union. The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) has published some useful guidance for travellers on the subject. We have provided some of this for you here. Information continues to be published so please keep up to date with guidance from the UK government, your tour operator and travel providers.
As AXA Health is following the guidance from the UK government and industry bodies such as ABTA we don’t have further information on what will happen when the UK leaves the EU. Much of the below information is not relevant to your travel insurance, but useful information for you to know. Please be reassured that our standard terms and conditions remain the same as detailed in your membership handbook.
ABTA have noted that if a deal is agreed then a transitional period may occur, meaning everything could stay the same until the end of December 2020 and flights will continue as normal. In the event of a no-deal scenario, the European Commission has said that UK airlines will still be able to operate flights between the UK and the European Union (EU). The UK government has offered similar assurances for EU airlines. If you are stranded due to your flights being cancelled, with package holidays you should in the first instance contact your tour operator. If you are travelling independently, your airline should cover the costs of the original flight.
Ferry services and cruises should still sail as the majority of the rules under which they operate are international.
Latest guidance suggests you shouldn’t need a visa to travel to the EU post 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 for this visa exemption, similar to the regime operated for visitors to the United States.
There is nothing to suggest that you will not be able to continue with your holiday plans after when the UK leaves the EU. Even in a no-deal scenario, the European Commission has 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: your holiday will be protected under the ATOL Package Travel Regulations. The UK Government has confirmed that the Package Travel Regulations will remain in the UK law when the UK leaves the EU, meaning your tour operator will be responsible.
Where you wish to claim for accommodation costs that you are legally obliged to pay, in the first instance please speak to your accommodation provider, or secondly refer back to your airline, if the restriction was due to your flight being cancelled.
When travelling to the EU when the UK leaves the EU, the UK government recommends that you have six months left on your passport on the date of your arrival to an EU country.
You should also check when your passport was renewed. If you renewed a 10 year adult passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months over 10 years will not count towards the 6 months that must be remaining. The UK Government has published a website tool, available at www.gov.uk, to check the validity of your passport under these rules. You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.
As per the usual exclusions on your policy, the cancellation and curtailment benefit will not be eligible if you fail to obtain the required passport or visa.
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows any EU citizen to access state medical care when they are travelling in another EU country. In the event of a no-deal, UK registered EHICs will no longer be valid.
Currently on your policy, Medical and Additional Expenses are subject to a £50 excess unless a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is used by the insured member to reduce costs. We will continue to implement this rule all the time the UK EHICs are valid. If EHIC can no longer be used then a £50 excess will be payable by all, due to the increased costs.
It is recommended that you should contact your motor insurance provider to understand the impacts for driving abroad. Alternatively please either refer to the government or ABTA websites.