What you need to know about visiting the UK from 1 January 2021

Please ensure you check the official UK Government website for updates prior to travelling.


Will EU, EEA or Swiss citizens need visas to travel to the UK?

If you are an EU, EEA and Swiss citizen, you can travel to the UK for holidays or short trips without needing a visa. You can cross the UK border using a valid passport which should be valid for the whole time you are in the UK.

Will EU, EEA or Swiss ID cards still be valid?

You will not be able to use an EU, EEA or Swiss national ID card to enter the UK from 1 October 2021, unless you:
• have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
• have an EU Settlement Scheme family permit
• have a frontier worker permit
• are an S2 Healthcare Visitor
• are a Swiss Service Provider

In these cases, you can continue to use your national ID card to enter the UK until at least 31 December 2025.
In other cases, find out if you need to apply for a visa to enter the UK.

How long will EU, EEA and Swiss citizens be able to stay in the UK without a visa?

Under the new system, if you are an EU, EEA, and Swiss citizen, you can continue to visit the UK without applying for a visa and in most cases, will be able to stay for up to six months. You may participate in a wide range of activities, including business-related activities such as meetings, events and conferences.
If you are travelling to the UK to carry out business activities from 1 January 2021, check if you need a visa before travel here: Check UK Visa requirements .

Can EU/EEA/Swiss citizens visiting the UK still use eGates?

You can use automatic eGates at some airports if you have a biometric symbol on the cover of your passport and you are 12 or over. Using the eGates is usually faster. Read the guide to faster travel through the UK border.

Has anything changed for non-EU/EEA citizens?

Nothing has changed for non-EU/EEA visitors following the end of the transition period. Find out if you’ll need to apply for a visa to enter the UK.

Border crossings and ferry terminals

What will the impact be at borders/ferry terminals?

Flights: Flights will continue and you should not experience any difference in security screening.
Eurostar/rail: When travelling between the UK and the EU, your rights as a rail passenger using either domestic or cross-border rail services remain unchanged.
Ferry services: The EU regulation on passengers’ rights is now UK law. It will continue to protect passengers on ferry services.

For further information on travel and passenger rights, and measures in place to minimise disruption, please see the official government information page.

How will border controls be managed when passengers are coming from Ireland?

The Common Travel Area (CTA) is a long-standing arrangement between the UK, the Crown Dependencies (Bailiwick of Jersey, Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Isle of Man) and Ireland that pre-dates both British and Irish membership of the EU and is not dependent on it. As a result, there will continue to be no routine immigration controls on journeys from within Ireland to the UK, with no immigration controls at all on the Northern Ireland – Ireland land border. The Government will continue to work closely with CTA partners to facilitate legitimate travel within the CTA while tackling abuse of these arrangements. You can check the common travel area guidance information page for additional details.

Will the Channel Islands, including Jersey and Guernsey, be exempt from passport requirements?

The Channel Islands, including Jersey and Guernsey, are part of the Common Travel Area (CTA) of the UK and therefore maintain the same changes and standard of immigration control as the UK.

Healthcare for EU citizens visiting the UK

Will European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) be phased out?

If you are a visitor to the UK from an EU country and you fall ill or have a medical emergency during your temporary stay in England, you can continue to use a valid EHIC issued by your home country to access healthcare.

The EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance. You should also have travel or health insurance that covers the duration of your trip.

Please see the UK Government website for more information for visitors on healthcare and documents you need to bring here: UK.GOV Brexit Information

Please note: The way you access healthcare in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland could be different from England. Please see the links below for more information:

Do EU citizens need travel insurance when they visit the UK?

The UK Government advises visitors to the UK to take out travel insurance. This means that you can reclaim any healthcare costs you are required to pay from your insurer. Check your insurance has the necessary healthcare coverage to make sure you can get the treatment you need during your visit.
For further details, please ensure you check gov.uk before you travel.

Due to COVID-19, there are currently strict testing and quarantine rules for entry into the UK. The specific regulations may vary from region to region. Please make sure you check out the latest guidelines:

  • England
  • Scotland
  • Wales
  • Northern Ireland

The border measures have been introduced to prevent the spread of new variants of Coronavirus into the UK.

What is the Passenger Locator Form?

In the 48 hours before you arrive in the UK from abroad you must complete a passenger locator form to give the UK Government your journey and contact details. This is part of the UK’s COVID-19 response.

Find out more about this and other documents you need to enter the UK.


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