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Post-Brexit Travel To Lanzarote

February 3, 2020

All of the latest guidelines and information about visiting Lanzarote (and beyond) after Brexit…..

Though the UK has now left the European Union, the country remains in an official transition period until December 2020. During this time, EU laws still largely apply, including those addressing freedom of movement – meaning that your travel plans will remain unaffected. This applies both to UK citizens visiting Europe and EU citizens travelling to the UK. 

woman at airport looking at Brexit signs
Image by Stux from Pixabay

Will flights still operate normally?

Yes. ABTA has assured all UK citizens that flights will still operate between the UK and Europe, including Lanzarote. This means you can go about booking your 2020 holiday without the threat of any direct travel disruption.  

What if I do experience travel disruption?

Of course, travel disruption is subject to a variety of causes, and while Brexit will never be the cause of delayed or cancelled flights, that’s not to say this won’t occur from other problems. 

As such, The Department for Transport has confirmed that those flying from the UK during the transition period and beyond will be entitled to same passenger rights as before, meaning they’ll receive the same assistance and/or compensation in the event of boarding issues, cancellations or delays. 

Will I need a visa?

No. With free movement still in place for UK citizens travelling throughout Europe until the end of the transitional period in December 2020, you will require no additional documentation when travelling to Lanzarote or anywhere else in Europe this year. 

Following the end of the transitional period in December 2020 (although there is the potential for an extension on this date, despite that possibility currently being ruled out by the UK government), tourists travelling from the UK will be able to visit EU countries for a total of 90 days every 180 days without the need for a visa. However, they will not be able to work or study. 

The EU will be introducing a US-style visa-waiver scheme for tourists visiting from 2021. Though unrelated to Brexit, UK citizens will be expected to follow this system upon introduction. 

You can view further information at the Gov.UK website.

Is my passport valid?

Yes. If you have a minimum of six months left on your passport at the time of arrival then you can enter and leave the EU. While any new passports renewed from mid-2020 onward will feature the new blue design, you will not be expected to update your passport until it expires. 

You can check your passport validity online at the Gov.UK website.

Should I expect longer airport queues?

You won’t need to worry about any extended queuing when landing at airports around Europe throughout the transition period. According to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), you’ll be able to continue using the EU/EEA passport gates throughout this time – although this is likely to change (depending on ongoing negotiations throughout the year) at the end of this transition period. 

Will there be any changes to duty free shopping?

There will be no changes to the rules surrounding duty free shopping during the transition period. This means that, as has been the case since 1999, duty free will not be available from airports when travelling within Europe. 

This may change following the end of the transition period – it is entirely dependent on the result of negotiations taking place between UK and EU parties throughout the year. 

Will my EHIC card still be valid (now replaced with GHIC)?

The UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) lets you get state healthcare in Europe at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. If you have a UK European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) it will be valid until the expiry date on the card. Once it expires, you’ll need to apply for a GHIC to replace it.

However, the latest UK Government advice recommends that UK tourists should also take out comprehensive travel insurance when visiting any country, whether within or outside the EU, whilst also stressing that GHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance.

Visit the Gov.UK website for more information about healthcare in Spain and the Canary Islands after Brexit.

Will I need an International Driving Permit for driving in Lanzarote?

No, not for short break holidays. In Spain (and Lanzarote) you will not need an international driving permit for visits of up to nine months after the date when the UK leaves the EU. Thereafter, you will not need an international driving permit for visits up to six months, providing you have either a UK photocard or UK paper driving licence.

This may vary from country to country following the end of the transition period, with some destinations requiring an IDP – for those requiring them when travelling outside of Lanzarote, these can be bought at the post office for £5.50. 

How will pet travel be affected?

If you’re travelling with a pet during the transition period, your pet’s passport will still be valid. 

From the end of the transition period, however, the existing scheme is likely to change. The British government has recommended that pet owners allow a minimum of 4 months to arrange any new documents required before travelling. 

What changes should I expect to exchange rates?

While currency valuation typically fluctuates anyway, the Brexit saga has had a major influence on both the GBP’s value climbs and drops over the past few years. With further trade details set to be ironed out during the transition period, there is no certainty surrounding how the GBP’s value and subsequent exchange rates will be affected. 

As such, while we can’t recommend an optimum time to convert your currency ahead of travelling abroad, we can advise you to shop around to find the rates with the lowest add-on charges, delivery fees and commission. 

Will mobile phone rates change when using abroad? 

The current roaming system that enables you to travel in the EU without being charged extra for calls, texts and data will continue throughout the transition period. Following that, the future of roaming charges will be greatly dependent on negotiations taking place throughout the year. 

Thanks to recent legislation passed to safeguard consumers, however, a £45 monthly limit for data usage in the EU has been guaranteed, with data limit notifications and opt-in for more data options available. 


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