In light of the current uncertainty about Brexit, we want to help parents and pupils prepare for their trip in the scenario of the UK not reaching a deal in time.
The rules for travel to most countries in Europe will change if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. The Government states that British citizens travelling to the EU after 29 March 2019 will need at least 6 months left on your passport when you travel to most EU countries. Every student on this trip must have a valid passport valid until 30 May 2020, or later. The passport office has a handy online checker to determine whether you need to renew. https://www.passport.service.gov.uk/check-a-passport
The European Commission has confirmed that British travellers will not need visas to visit the European Union on short stays, even if there is a no-deal Brexit. However, this will be reliant on the UK’s ongoing agreement to offer reciprocal visa-free access for EU citizens. Travel advice issued by the Commission says “The European Commission has proposed to the EU legislator to exempt UK nationals from visa requirements for short-term stays”.
The EHIC entitles UK citizens with state-provided medical treatment while visiting the EU. The scheme provides the same level of emergency care to British travellers as the citizens of the country they are visiting. The government has said it wants both UK and EU citizens to be able to continue using the EHIC scheme after Brexit, but this will need to be agreed as part of any deal on our future relationship. If we leave without a deal, the UK would need to agree emergency reciprocal arrangements with individual EU countries for the EHIC scheme to continue.
Due to this uncertainty, we require all students on this trip to have a valid EHIC card. The EHIC is free, to apply for an EHIC call the NHS on 0300 330 1350.
We will, of course, fully update you about passport, visa and EHIC arrangements, as soon as the situation post 29 March 2019 is clearer.