Brexit entered into force on 1 February 2020 and on 31 December, the transition period following the withdrawal of the Great Britain (UK) from the European Union ends, resulting in changes in the movement of people, goods and services between the UK and the European Union countries.
We will highlight the most important changes, effective from 1 January 2021, concerning travelling.
- Starting from 1 January 2021, all tourists, people travelling for business purposes, and students, who do not intend to stay in the UK for longer than six consecutive months, are allowed to travel to the UK visa-free and stay in the UK for up to six consecutive months.
- When travelling, it is recommended to use a valid passport instead of an ID card. The United Kingdom allows EU citizens to enter with valid ID-card until 31 October 2021.
- It is necessary to get health insurance when travelling to the UK as the European Health Insurance Card will no longer be valid in the United Kingdom from 1 January 2021.
- From 1 January 2021, the Estonian drivers must possess an international Green Card when driving in the UK and vice versa.
- From 1 January 2021, also the level of protection for passengers travelling between the EU and the UK will change. Depending on the means of transport, the EU passengers’ rights may no longer apply when entering or leaving the UK.
- When travelling to the UK, we recommend examining the UK customs regulations. Import of certain goods or personal belongings (such as food, plants and plant products, medicinal products, etc.) are subject to special requirements and these goods must be declared to customs.
- When returning to Estonia from a trip, it must be considered that duty-free import is subject to the same restrictions as when arriving from a third country. Any goods of a commercial nature or with the customs value exceeding the tax-free value or quantity, brought along by passenger, are subject to customs duty, VAT and excise tax.
- Be aware that from 1 January 2021, higher roaming charges may apply to mobile services in the UK. We ask you to check with your phone operator to find out about any roaming charges.
- From 1 January 2021, the European Union pet passport is no longer an acceptable document for travelling. We advise to check the requirements on bringing a pet to the UK from the UK customs webpage.
- From 1 January 2021, EU citizens will have no legal basis to approach UK embassies or consulates for consular assistance in a third country.
- Until 31 December 2020, the previously effective rights apply to the EU citizens for travelling to the UK.
- More detailed information (European Union notice (pdf)) on travelling between the EU and the United Kingdom following withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU after 1 January 2021, in English.