Travel warning: UK holidaymakers given advice to check passport due to EU's 10-year expiry rule - or risk being refused travel

The EU's 10-year expiry rule may affect some older red passports
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British jet-setters are being sent an urgent warning to check their passport before travelling to the EU - or risk being refused travel at the gate.

Millions of Brits are due to jet off this year to the European Union, with holiday hotspots such as Spain, France and Italy all welcoming travellers from the UK. However, there is one vital rule that you will need to double check before heading to the airport.

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Brexit brought with it new blue passports for Brits, but the little-known EU 10-year expiry date rule will only apply to the older red passports. Countries in the EU will only accept red passports if they are no more than 10 years old.

While the normal expiry date on a passport is 10 years, older renewals would often see the remaining expiry time of up to nine months on the older document added onto the new document's expiry date. This means that some passports may be up to 10 years and nine months old at the time of writing, and therefore is unsuitable for travel to the EU. In addition to being no older than 10 years, British passports valid for travel must also be valid for three months after your planned return date to the UK.

According to Home Office figures citied by the BBC, 32 million people applied for passports which, if granted, would now be more than 10 years old. A distraught holidaymaker also told the broadcaster that he was refused at the airport gate due to the rule. Nathan Barnes was refused travel to France, telling the BBC: "My passport had been issued more than 10 years previously. They were very matter of fact about it, they just said 'sorry you can't board, off you pop'. I was gutted, surprised really. We had checked in online and thought it was fine." 

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