British holidaymakers will be prepared for their post-Brexit getaways by a new public information campaign launching today.
As part of a £93 million campaign guidance will be offered on travel insurance, passports, and taking pets abroad ahead of the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31.
‘The UK’s new start: let’s get going’ adverts will be launched by the Government on television, radio and online, with information also sent to people via text message.
It is hoped the campaign will help businesses and individuals prepare for the end of the transition period, on the last day of 2020, when the UK leaves the single market and customs union.
Adverts will carry a ‘Check, Change, Go’ strapline and direct people and businesses to a checker tool on the Government’s website to show them what next steps they need to take.
British tourists seen relaxing by their hotels and beaches in in Benidorm on Sunday
Businesses will also be able to contact a ‘field force team’ for one-to-one support over the phone.
UK citizens with less than a year of validity left on their passports are urged to renew:
From January 1 Britons travelling to European destinations will be required to have at least six months validity on their passports.
As this is likely to see a surge in passport applications the British public have been advised to renew any passport with a year or less validity as soon as possible.
Around five million people in the UK are believed to have 12 months or less remaining on their passports, which could cause a backlog at UK passport offices.
As is the case when travelling to many countries outside of the EU, UK citizens will now also be required to show they have more than six months left on their passport when travelling to ‘most European Union countries’ plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, reports The Telegraph.
UK citizens intending to travel to Europe from January 1 2021 may be told to ensure their passport is valid for the required period of six months.
Around five million people in the UK have a year or less remaining on their passports.
To avoid delays those with fewer than 12 months validity are urged to apply for a new passport now.
And that’s not the only passport pet lovers will need to worry about, pet passports will be defunct from December 31.
Instead dogs, cats or ferrets will need to have a blood sample taken and be deemed EU approved before being allowed to cross borders – this process can take up to four months with owners advised to contact their vet well in advance.
Travellers will also be advised to get comprehensive travel insurance, as the EHIC card will no longer be valid for healthcare in Europe from December 31.
Health insurance premiums are expected to rise for Britons when free healthcare is no longer available to them.
Much of the campaign flags potentially costly pitfalls of the new system.
Holiday makers must also remember to check their mobile phone roaming policy as free EU roaming comes to an end.
And businesses planning to export or import to or from the EU will be told to ensure they have registered with the relevant customs authority.
Some UK-wide guidance will not apply to trade between Northern Ireland and the EU until negotiations have concluded. Initial guidance for Northern Ireland is expected to be published in the coming weeks.
Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said: ‘At the end of this year we are leaving the single market and customs union regardless of the type of agreement we reach with the EU.
‘This will bring changes and significant opportunities for which we all need to prepare.
‘While we have already made great progress in getting ready for this moment, there are actions that businesses and citizens must take now to ensure we are ready to hit the ground running as a fully independent United Kingdom.
British tourists wearing masks are seen at the front desk of their hotel in Benidorm on Sunday
‘This is a new start for everyone in the UK – British and European citizens alike – so let’s get going.’
Liberal Democrat acting leader Sir Ed Davey said: ‘Businesses right across the United Kingdom have struggled to survive financially over the past few months as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
‘The fact that the Government is now trying to force them to gear up and prepare for the end of the transition period will fill them with utter horror.’
He said it was time ministers ‘sought as close as possible relationship with the European Union to not only minimise the damage to the UK, but allow both themselves and British business time to focus on getting the UK back on its feet again after the pandemic’.