The following information is valid as of 08/04/2021, Source: VisitBritain
More information on the VisitBritain website
What you need to know about visiting the UK from 1 January 2021
Please ensure you check the official UK Government website for updates prior to travelling.
ID cards and visas
Will EU, EEA or Swiss citizens need visas to travel to the UK?
If you’re an EU, EEA and Swiss citizen, you can travel to the UK for holidays or short trips without needing a visa. You can cross the UK border using a valid passport which should be valid for the whole time you are in the UK.
Will EU, EEA or Swiss ID cards still be valid?
You will not be able to use an EU, EEA or Swiss national ID card to enter the UK from 1 October 2021, unless you:
- have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
- have an EU Settlement Scheme family permit
- have a frontier worker permit
- are an S2 Healthcare Visitor
- are a Swiss Service Provider
In these cases, you can continue to use your national ID card to enter the UK until at least 31 December 2025.
In other cases, find out if you need to apply for a visa to enter the UK.
How long will EU, EEA and Swiss citizens be able to stay in the UK without a visa?
Under the new system, if you’re an EU, EEA and Swiss citizen, you can continue to visit the UK without applying for a visa and in most cases, will be able to stay for up to six months. You may participate in a wide range of activities, including business-related activities such as meetings, events and conferences.
If you are travelling to the UK to carry out business activities from 1 January 2021, check if you need a visa before travel here: https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa.
Can EU/EEA/Swiss citizens visiting the UK still use eGates?
You can use automatic eGates at some airports if you have a biometric symbol on the cover of your passport and you are 12 or over. Using the eGates is usually faster. Read the guide to faster travel through the UK border.
Has anything changed for non-EU/EEA citizens?
Nothing has changed for non-EU/EEA visitors following the end of the transition period. Find out if you’ll need to apply for a visa to enter the UK.
Border crossings and ferry terminals
What will the impact be at borders/ferry terminals?
Flights: Flights will continue and you should not experience any difference in security screening.
Eurostar/rail: When travelling between the UK and the EU, your rights as a rail passenger using either domestic or cross-border rail services remain unchanged.
Ferry services: The EU regulation on passengers’ rights is now UK law. It will continue to protect passengers on ferry services.
For further information on travel and passenger rights, and measures in place to minimise disruption, please see the official government information page.
How will border controls be managed when passengers are coming from Ireland?
The Common Travel Area (CTA) is a long-standing arrangement between the UK, the Crown Dependencies (Bailiwick of Jersey, Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Isle of Man) and Ireland that pre-dates both British and Irish membership of the EU and is not dependent on it. As a result, there will continue to be no routine immigration controls on journeys from within Ireland to the UK, with no immigration controls at all on the Northern Ireland – Ireland land border. The Government will continue to work closely with CTA partners to facilitate legitimate travel within the CTA while tackling abuse of these arrangements. You can check the common travel area guidance information page for additional details.
Will the Channel Islands, including Jersey and Guernsey, be exempt from passport requirements?
The Channel Islands, including Jersey and Guernsey, are part of the Common Travel Area (CTA) of the UK and therefore maintain the same changes and standard of immigration control as the UK.
Healthcare for EU citizens visiting the UK
Will European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) be phased out?
If you are a visitor to the UK from an EU country and you fall ill or have a medical emergency during your temporary stay in England, you can continue to use a valid EHIC issued by your home country to access healthcare.
The EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance. You should also have travel or health insurance that covers the duration of your trip.
Please see the UK Government website for more information for visitors on healthcare and documents you need to bring here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/healthcare-for-visitors-to-the-uk-from-the-eu-from-1-january-2021
Please note: The way you access healthcare in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland could be different from England. Please see the links below for more information:
For Northern Ireland please see: https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/articles/european-union-overseas-and-visitors-policy
For Wales please see: https://gov.wales/preparing-wales-brexit/health-and-social-services
Do EU citizens need travel insurance when they visit the UK?
The UK Government advises visitors to the UK to take out travel insurance. This means that you can reclaim any healthcare costs you are required to pay from your insurer. Check your insurance has the necessary healthcare coverage to make sure you can get the treatment you need during your visit.
For further details, please ensure you check gov.uk before you travel.
Due to COVID-19, there are currently strict testing and quarantine rules for entry into the UK. The specific regulations may vary from region to region. Please make sure you check out the latest guidelines:
The border measures have been introduced to prevent the spread of new variants of Coronavirus into the UK.
What is the Passenger Locator Form?
In the 48 hours before you arrive in the UK from abroad you must complete a passenger locator form to give the UK Government your journey and contact details. This is part of the UK’s COVID-19 response.
Driving in the UK
Can visitors with a non-UK driving licence still drive in the UK?
If you have a non-UK driving licence you are able to drive in the UK. You do not need an international driving permit (IDP).
What will visitors whose vehicle is not insured in the UK need in order to drive?
If you have vehicle insurance issued in the EU, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia or Switzerland, you should carry an insurance green card or other valid proof of insurance.
To be valid, other proof of insurance must be a document issued by the insurer of the vehicle, which includes the:
- name of the insurance provider
- number plate or other identifying particulars of the vehicle
- period of insurance cover
Contact your vehicle insurer before you travel.
If your vehicle is insured in a country outside the EU, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia or Switzerland, what you’ll need to do will depend on if your country is a member of the green card system.
If your country is a member, you will need to carry a green card.
If your country is not a member, your vehicle will need UK vehicle insurance.
Using mobile phones in the UK
Can visitors from the EU use their mobile phone in the UK?
How much you pay for calls, texts and mobile data in the UK and the EU will depend on your operator. Please check before you travel.