'New' UK campaign recaps 2021 changes for visiting EU

A British government campaign has launched to help British residents prepare for changes in travel to the EU next year – but, on checking, it is almost identical to a previous campaign.

18 September 2020
An image from the new campaign
By Liv Rowland

The Going to Europe next year campaign is very similar to July's UK’s new start: Let's get going, using the same traffic light motif and red arrow and giving the same advice.

Visitors are being targeted

It also invites people to use the same checker tool for their personal situation at gov.uk/transition although the campaign launching today specifically targets British residents planning to visit the EU.

The previous campaign covered this group, which includes those with French holiday homes, but it also included information for Britons who live in the EU as well as British companies which do business with the EU.

Reflecting the fact that the situation is unchanged since earlier in the summer, as no new rules have yet been agreed with the EU, the campaign launching today reminds travellers again to:

  • Check passport validity and renew it if necessary as there will be new rules on passport validity [it should have been issued not more than nine-and-a-half years ago on the departure date]. A specific checker tool for this is available.  
  • Buy comprehensive travel insurance including all healthcare needs [and not just extras], as Ehics may no longer be valid. The government says it will be providing more detail shortly regarding this.
  • Contact a vet at least four months before departure to arrange pet travel documents [this is because British EU pet passports will no longer be valid; the UK has requested a new simple status for pet travel, but this has not yet been confirmed by the EU].
  • Check roaming policies with your phone provider [EU rules banning phone and data roaming charges will no longer apply].
    An image from July's campaign

  • Check the travel advice at gov.uk for the country you are going to, for country-specific rules, including coronavirus restrictions.

The campaign is being run by the UK’s foreign affairs ministry which is known as the Foreign and Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) as of this month. The words 'and Development' were added due to a merger with another ministry.

The FCDO states that there are more than 60 million visits to Europe from the UK each year. To help travellers prepare, the government is therefore working in partnership with the travel industry to communicate these changes to their customers.

UK travel industry body ABTA says it is keen to work with the government on this to make sure customers are aware of changes affecting their trips.

The Going to Europe next year campaign is being publicised from today in a range of online and print outlets and on social media sites such as the FCDO’s Facebook, Twitter, or Istagram.

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