UK Passport: When Travelling to Europe
British holidaymakers no longer need to show proof of full vaccination or a negative test to visit most of the EU but those planning to travel to the EU should always check their passport validity before heading to the airport.
With so many stories of holidaymakers being turned away from airports due to passport concerns, here is what holidaymakers need to know about their passports.
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What UK Passport Holders Should Know
Before Brexit, British holidaymakers could travel up to and including the expiry date on their passports. But after Brexit, EU regulations now classify UK citizens as ‘third country nationals,’ meaning the rules have changed.
Holidaymakers might assume that their passport is valid up to the expiry date. But this isn’t always the case.
British passport holders should ensure they pass the following criteria before planning their trip to the EU
- passport issued within the previous 10 years.
- passport is valid for at least three months after the date you plan to leave the EU country you are visiting
These requirements apply to the whole Schengen area, which includes most EU countries plus Switzerland, Norway, and Iceland.
Though British citizens can enter the Schengen area with three months of validity on their passports, the UK government recommends that they have six months of validity.
UK Passport Renewal
UK passport is edging close to the expiry date and should be renewed to avoid the risk of being turned away from the airport.
The UK Home office estimates that it currently takes roughly 10 weeks to get a new passport.
However, unprecedented demand and huge backlogs mean even longer wait times. For those planning a trip outside the UK, they need to ensure their passport is valid for travel.
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