British travellers face the worst possible outcome once the Brexit transition period ends, the government has confirmed.
Promises that the European Health Insurance Card (Ehic) scheme would continue have been dashed, meaning travellers to the EU will face sharply increased travel insurance premiums.
UK visitors to the European Union are being urged to check their passport expiry dates.
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Motorists are told they “may” require an international driving permit, as well as complying with additional insurance.
Pet owners who intend to take their dog or cat abroad from the start of 2021 must begin preparations by 1 September this year. And free mobile-phone roaming may end.
The government has launched an information campaign that reveals previous assurances have been abandoned.
Since the EU referendum in 2016, the government has said repeatedly that it wished to agree reciprocal health-care terms to replace the Ehic.
But that plan has been abandoned. Instead, British travellers will be expected to meet the full cost of their treatment in EU countries, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
This will increase the cost of travel insurance – especially for older travellers and those with pre-existing medical conditions.
The government says: “It’s particularly important you get travel insurance with the right cover if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
“This is because the Ehic scheme covers pre-existing conditions, while many travel insurance policies do not.”
Many such people currently choose not to insure for visits to Europe, knowing that they will qualify for free or very inexpensive health care.
At present British passports are valid for travel anywhere in the EU up to and including the date of expiry.
But from 1 January 2021, they will need both to have at least six months of validity remaining and to have been issued no more than nine years and six months remaining.
A rush to renew will add to the large backlog of passport applications has build up during the coronavirus crisis.
The government is not clear about motoring rules. It says: “You may need extra documents from 1 January 2021.
“You might need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in some countries.
“If you’re taking your own vehicle, you might also need a ‘green card’ or valid proof of insurance and a GB sticker.”
Pet owners face rules so complex that the BBC’s assistant political editor, Norman Smith, said: “Speaking as a dog owner it looks to me frankly such a faff, you are just not going to bother.”
On the Today programme, he explained: “You are going to have to take your pet to the vet to get a rabies vaccination. You’ll then have to return a month later to get a blood test, send that blood test to an EU laboratory.
“Their vet will then send back the ‘OK’. You’ll then have to wait another three months before you can go.
“I’m just thinking: pets of Great Britain, you can say farewell to the Dordogne.”
Mobile phone charges may soar because users will no longer be protected by the EU’s “roam like at home” rules.
Dubai: Holidaymakers around the world might not have been able to plan their vacation this year, but COVID-19 is not going to stop them from making plans for 2021.
According to Google Trends, online searches for the keyword ‘2021 holiday’ have increased by 124 per cent since the end of March.
A recent survey published by the UK-based luxury travel group Kuoni Travel was able to rank the most searched destinations and uncover where exactly people would like to travel to once the coronavirus restrictions are lifted.
“To uncover 2021’s most dreamed of destinations, we reviewed data for 131 countries around the world, including the UK, to discover which countries travellers are searching for on Google for next year,” said the travel group.
The World’s Most Searched Destinations for 2021
Through analysing worldwide data, the most popular holiday destinations for next year are:
1. United Arab Emirates
Home to the popular tourist destination of Dubai, the UAE was the most searched-for holiday spot for 2021 in 11 countries. Each of the seven emirate states has its own characteristics, but they’re all an excellent destination for some winter sun.
Dubai has a futuristic style with soaring skyscrapers, epic shopping malls and long stretches of beach, Fujairah has some incredible snorkelling spots and Ras Al Khaimah draws beach lovers to its beautiful coastline.
In joint second place is Canada. It’s easy to see why this beautiful country might appeal to people dreaming of wide open landscapes and towering mountains. Popular activities here include camping, fishing, hiking, climbing, kayaking and skiing, and there are plenty of opportunities for whale spotting along the both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Cities like Toronto and Vancouver also offer a bustling, cosmopolitan buzz for those seeking an alternative to the great outdoors.
Topping the 2021-related holiday searches for eight countries, Qatar is another Middle Eastern destination that showcases an exciting blend of cutting-edge modernity alongside lively traditional markets and souqs.
Alongside Qatar and Canada in second place is the United States of America, a country so vast and varied it can suit getaway dreams for any kind of holidaymaker. Popular destinations include Florida with its dazzling theme parks, buzzing Las Vegas, soulful New Orleans and New York City, a city with one of the world’s most recognisable skylines. The combination of these eclectic places makes it clear why this is such a popular choice for 2021 breaks.
The most popular 2021 destination for six of the countries we reviewed, is Egypt. This heritage-rich destination is bursting with captivating historical monuments such as the world famous Pyramids and Sphinx of Giza, and the temples in Luxor. There are also beautiful beaches and a vibrant underwater world to explore in coastal resorts like Hurghada and Sharm el Sheikh.
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