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What holidaymakers can expect post Brexit

With our attention focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and little coverage in the press, many of us have pushed Brexit to the back our minds.

But a recent article in Lanzarote Information is a reminder that the implementation period ends on January 1, 2021, when the UK completes its departure from the EU.

So what can we expect from January 1 and how will it impact holidaymakers on the island? Here are the key points:

1 Visiting Lanzarote after Brexit

Visitors from the UK will be electronically logged into and out of the Schengen zone and will use the “non-EU passports” line at immigration. British citizens will be limited to stays of a maximum of 90 days in any rolling 180 day period, in the Schengen zone.

The rolling 180 day period is complicated – visitors will not be able to stay for 90 days, return to their home country for a short visit, and then come back to Lanzarote.

Lanzarote Information recommends this handy calculator so you can check your dates: Schengen Calculator.

British citizens will need six months on their passports beyond their planned leaving date, and their passports must be less than ten years old, based on the date of issue.

British citizens will not require a visa for entry for stays of less than 90 days, and where they will not be working.

At some time during 2021, the EU will be introducing a visa waiver scheme for visitors from outside the EU. It will be similar to the US ESTA and called ETIAS. It will be valid for a year and cover all Schengen zone countries. Lanzarote Information understands it will cost around €7 per year.

You may have to show your return ticket and money

At border control, you may need to:

  • Show a return or onward ticket
  • Show you have enough money for your stay
  • Use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing

2 Roaming Charges

The EU “roam like at home” scheme, which requires mobile phone airtime providers to offer standard charges across Europe will no longer apply to British mobile suppliers.

Some have said that they will unilaterally continue to offer the service, so check with your airtime provider before you travel to avoid any surprises.

A new law means that you’re protected from getting mobile data charges above £45 without you knowing.

Once you reach £45, you need to opt in to spend more so that you can continue using the internet while you’re abroad. Your phone operator will tell you how you can do this.

3 Driving Licences

The situation with driving licences remains unclear. British driving licences will no longer be EU licences, and an international driving permit (IDP) may be required in future. Check back here for further information.

4 Healthcare

The EHIC European health card that provides free emergency health care will be valid up to December 31, 2020.

As always, visitors are recommended to have comprehensive travel insurance. If they suffer from existing medical conditions, they must have a policy which covers those. This is because the EHIC scheme covers pre-existing conditions, while many travel insurance policies do not.

5 Customs

As Britain will no longer be part of the EU customs scheme, all goods brought to Lanzarote from the UK will be subject to detailed customs clearance.

6 Compensation if your travel is disrupted

Some travel insurance policies only cover certain types of disruption. Check your provider’s terms and conditions to make sure you have the cover you need if your travel is cancelled or delayed.

Your consumer rights will not change from January 1 2021. This means that if your travel is cancelled or delayed, you may be able to claim a refund or compensation.

Check your booking’s terms and conditions to find out more.

More information is available on the Government website and we’ll update this site as we get further clarification and news.

Thank you to Lanzarote Information for bringing this to our attention.

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