Brexit information campaign: Owners of French second homes

A new British public service campaign about Brexit launching today will include adverts aimed at those – such as owners of second homes in France – who regularly visit the EU.

13 July 2020
Rules will change for British holiday home owners from January 2021
By Liv Rowland

It will highlight important things to bear in mind, such as the possibility that full travel health insurance will be required as there may no longer be Ehic cards [continuing such cover is supposed to be discussed in the current ‘future relationship’ talks, but it is reported that there has been little progress in these talks so far, and trade relations have been prioritised].

The UK’s new start: Let’s get going campaign will include television and radio adverts as well as digital and print media and in some cases text messages and webinars.

Connexion has asked the Cabinet Office who may expect to receive texts and how the relevant people’s home numbers will be identified.

One of the key groups targeted will be those with plans to travel from the UK to the EU from January 1, 2021, such as those with second homes in France.

There will be no special status of ‘second home owner’; they will be treated the same as any non-EU foreign visitor from next year, including a requirement of staying for no more than 90 days in any 180-day period.

The campaign will remind people of issues such as:

  • Getting comprehensive travel insurance.
                         
  • Ensuring your passport is valid. At present you can travel with it if it will be in its validity period during your trip; in future you will not be able to travel with it to France if it has less then six months left to run. It will also have to be less than 10 years old - of relevance if ‘extra’ months were obtained by renewing it early.

                               
  • Checking with your mobile phone company as to its call, text and data roaming charges policy, as firms will no longer be covered by the EU's obligation to provide ‘free’ roaming in the EU to UK-based customers.
                                        
  • If you will be travelling with your pet, check requirements with your vet at least four months before travelling as more paperwork may be required due to the ending of validity of British EU pet passports.
                                     
  • The campaign will, among other points, encourage those who will want to visit the EU to check key points for their situation using this new tool 

For example, extra factors that a retired second home owner who plans to stick to the 90/180 rule for visitors (it will be necessary to apply for a visa for a longer stay) is asked to bear in mind include:

  • Checking what paperwork you may need at the border. In France, it is possible for third-country visitors to be asked for papers including: having sufficient financial means to support yourself during the stay (cash, travellers’ cheques, international bank cards…), a return ticket, medical insurance cover of at least €30,000 and any document clarifying the nature of the trip.
                            
    You may also be asked for evidence of where you will be staying, such as proof of ownership of your second home.
                        
    The checker tool notes you should factor in the fact that that border checks may take longer than before. Allow enough time so you do not miss your plane, train or ferry
  • Put a GB sticker on your car
                        
  • Obtain an international driving permit from a post office (they cost £5.50).

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