ABTA issues travel checklist for holidaymakers after warning over passport rule changes post-Brexit

There are several new stringent rules and regulations in place in regards to passports

Travellers in the UK are being urged to check their passports carefully before booking a holiday abroad due to post-Brexit rule changes.

Experts at ABTA - The Travel Association - have issued an important checklist for those looking to go abroad this year, warning that “one of the most important things you need to check is if your passport will be valid for your travel dates”.

The organisation is aiming to offer some clarity for travellers due to a series of new stringent passport rules and regulations.

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How long do I need on my passport to enter Europe?

Under Schengen area rules, it is a requirement for UK passports to be no more than 10 years old from the point of issue when entering an EU country.

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Passports must also be valid for at least three months after the day you are due to travel home.

The Foreign Office has now updated its travel advice for 33 countries to help clarify the changes, with destinations including Spain, Greece and Italy.

The updated advice now addresses the changes and explains: “If you are planning to travel to an EU country (except Ireland), or Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or Vatican City, you must follow the Schengen area passport requirements.

“Your passport must be:

  • issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country (check the ‘date of issue’)
  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

“You must check your passport meets these requirements before you travel. If your passport was issued before 1 October 2018, extra months may have been added to its expiry date.

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“Contact the embassy of the country you are visiting if you think that your passport does not meet both these requirements. Renew your passport if you need to.”

How to ensure your passport is fit for travel? 

To make sure you don’t get caught out by the new rules, ABTA advises going throgh the following checklist before heading off on holiday.

Checking passport validity

ABTA recommends that travellers check their passport’s validity by looking at both its issue and expiry date.

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Some countries require you to have a minimum amount of time left on your passport - usually between three to six months but this can vary.

Travel to Europe post-Brexit

ABTA has helped to clarify some of the new rules following the UK leaving the EU.

The association explains: “Your passport cannot be more than 10 years old when entering the country – so check when your passport was issued and when it is due to expire.

“Most places in Europe will require you to have a least three months left on your passport on the date of departure from your destination – check the Foreign Office advice for the passport rules for your destination.

“So, when checking if your passport will be valid for the dates of your trip, you need to check both the issue date and the expiry date in your passport.

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“If you renewed your current passport early, extra months may have been added to its expiry date and this could affect the requirement for your passport to be less than 10 years old.”

Applying for or renewing your passport

ABTA warns: “Her Majesty’s Passport Office (HMPO) is currently advising that it may take up to 10 weeks for applications to be processed when applying from the UK, so make sure you apply in good time.”

More can be found on abta.com.