Travel

Britons travelling to the European Union after the Brexit transition period ends on 31st December will need to take out additional insurance coverage and pay roaming charges as the trade deal agreed between the EU and the UK does not cover these areas. 

Travellers from the UK have until now been able to rely on free healthcare around Europe thanks to the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which allows anyone who is insured by or covered by a statutory social security scheme of an EU or EEA country to receive medical treatment in another member state for free or at a reduced cost.

British Cabinet minister Michael Gove said it was “important” for British holidaymakers to take out travel insurance with healthcare cover before travelling to the EU from 1st January. 

However, he added, “there would be a specific provision for people who do have very serious ailments”.

He said, “There will be a successor to the EHIC card which makes sure that those people for whom health insurance will always be a difficult thing can have their healthcare covered.”

“And, of course, people who are currently resident in the EU who are British – there are around one million of those – they have, under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, access to EHIC cards as well.”

Britons will also need to take into account roaming charges as a ban on fees throughout the EU was not included in the final deal. 

The deal only says both sides must encourage mobile providers to have “transparent and reasonable rates”, while government guidance tells British travellers to check with their mobile provider to see what charges they will face.

Any British visitor to the EU will also have to make sure their passport has enough validity when they begin their journey.

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