Changes to passport rules and healthcare arrangements mean that you should:
1) Check your passport’s issue and expiry dates
– for entry to the EU / Schengen area it should have been issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country (check the issue date) and also
it must have 3 months’ validity beyond the date of your return to the UK (check the expiry date). You should also check with your airline or cross-Channel operator to ensure that your passport meets their criteria, as they may require additional validity. Entry requirements do change and you must check the up-to-date position in good time before departure. You will also need to ensure that your passport is stamped each time you enter or exit the Schengen area as a visitor.
2) Apply for a free Global Health Insurance Card
(GHIC – a replacement for the European Health Insurance Card, or EHIC) if you are travelling to a European country other than Norway and do not have an EHIC. If you already have an EHIC, you can continue to use this until it expires (except in Norway). Your EHIC/GHIC may entitle you free or reduced-cost state-provided medical treatment while abroad. You can apply at www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/healthcare-abroad/apply-for-a-free-uk-global-health-insurance-card-ghic/
. If you are holidaying in Norway and require medical care, you can present your UK passport at the medical facility and treatment will be provided on the same terms as for Norwegian nationals.
3) Take out adequate travel insurance
– the EHIC/GHIC does not cover all health-related costs and should not be relied upon as a substitute for comprehensive travel insurance, so it is essential that you take out an adequate policy. Our insurance page
gives details of a policy that you may like to consider. You should ensure that your chosen policy covers any existing medical conditions. Since the GHIC and still-current EHICs are not valid in Norway, it is important that, if you already have travel insurance, you check that the terms do not exclude medical cover – especially for existing conditions – in the absence of an EHIC.
While British citizens do not currently require a visa for our featured European destinations, please be aware that in future they will need to register with ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) if travelling to countries within the Schengen area. The system is expected to become fully operational in 2024. Applications will cost 7 about euros each and will be valid for up to three years. We will update this page with more details once timelines are finalised.