From 11pm UK time on 31 December, travel to Italy and other EU countries will be different for UK citizens. We consider how passports, healthcare, driving and that ever important duty-free will be affected.
Happy New Year Britain. Welcome to the new normal.
Covid (what else)
In response to the new coronavirus variant, some EU member states have suspended travel from the UK.
EU Covid-19 guidance recommends that non-essential travel from outside the EU is restricted, unless visitors come from countries with much-lower rates of infection, such as Australia and New Zealand.
UK passports will need to have at least six months’ remaining validity and need to have been issued less than 10 years ago.
Use the government passport checker.
UK passport holders will still be allowed to visit EU countries visa-free for up to 90 days in any 180 day period.
From 2022, under the new European Travel Information and Authorization System (Etias), nationals from previously visa-free third countries, including UK citizens, will need to pay for a visa-waiver to visit Schengen-area countries and fill in an Etias application form before departure.
With your own car, you’ll need a green card (insurance certificate) to show that you’re insured in the EU. You need to contact your insurance company six weeks before you travel to get one. After 31 December, you’ll need a GB sticker on your car, too, even if the number plate already has a GB marking.
You may also need an international driving permit – check here for the current requirements when travelling to Italy.
The current picture is not straightforward. Pending the replacement healthcare scheme (involving a global health insurance card) not yet announced, the UK government recommends taking out travel insurance with healthcare cover.
Holders of EHICS (the European Health Insurance Cards) can continue to use them in the EU before the card’s valid until date. But do not count on the relevant authorities here in Puglia understanding this nuance. No new EHICS will be issued to UK citizens.
From January 2021, goods brought from and back to the UK will be subject a duty-free allowance of up to four litres of spirits, 18 litres of wine and 42 litres of beer.