Changes to passport rules and healthcare arrangements mean that you should:
1) Check your passport’s issue and expiry dates
– it should have at least 6 months’ remaining validity and also
be less than 10 years old at the time of travel.
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 Switzerland or Norway and do not have an EHIC. If you already have an EHIC, you can continue to use this until it expires (except in Switzerland and 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 either our recommended policy
or an equivalent one (all the more so if you are travelling to a destination with no reciprocal health agreement with the UK). You should ensure that it covers any existing medical conditions. Since the GHIC and still-current EHICs are not valid in Norway and Switzerland, 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 changes are planned for travel to countries within the Schengen area. We will update this page once requirements and timelines are finalised.