In this blog post we look into the implications of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement on mobility.

In summary:

  • UK nationals can visit the Schengen zone* for tourism or business purposes for up to 90 days in total in any 180 day period. This can be a single visit or a number of visits. Any stays longer than this will require a visa issued by the relevant member state.
  • Travelling to the EU won’t be as streamlined as before, with UK nationals now unable to utilise the EU/EEA lanes at international terminals. Passports must also have at least 6 months validity (and be less than 10 years old) to travel.
  • Travel to the Republic of Ireland remains unaffected and continues as normal under the Common Travel Agreement.  There is no time restriction for UK nationals visiting Ireland.

What can I do as a business visitor in the EU?

It is important to note that each EU member state has its own immigration rules. The definition of a ‘business trip’ will differ from state to state. For example, in France, business activity includes attending conferences/seminars, business development meetings and limited meetings with clients/colleagues. In Italy, business trips can include meetings, networking opportunities, negotiating a deal/contract and attending industry events.

Productive work in the EU, including periods of remote working, generally requires a work permit for all non-EU nationals. Checking emails and taking urgent calls whilst in the EU on a holiday or business trip is generally acceptable. While there are similarities with business traveller rules, it is advisable to check the local guidance ahead of travel.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

EHICs will continue to be valid until expiry. The UK government has said they will be replacing the EHIC with a new UK Global Health Insurance Card, however, there are no published details yet. Government advice is to purchase travel insurance with sufficient health coverage before travel – especially for those with pre-existing health conditions.

Driver licenses

UK drivers’ licenses continue to be valid in the EU, however, a green card will be required to take a personal vehicle into the EU.

Pets

The UK will no longer be part of the pet passport scheme. UK travellers will need to arrange for an Animal Health Certificate (valid for 4 months) for their pet to travel to the EU (which can take in excess of 1 month to arrange).

Useful links

https://www.gov.uk/visit-europe-1-january-2021
https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

*The Schengen Zone includes all EU countries, however, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania are not part of the Schengen zone. Time spent in these exempt countries will not count to the 90/180 day limit in the Schengen zone.