How will Brexit impact travelling to Europe, for the British?

The question most Brits have been pondering over whilst sipping sone Christmas eggnog is, who will we be able to travel into Europe post Brexit? It is one of the most searched for queries on google.

The answer isn’t as straight forward as you would think. In short, the answer to this conundrum is Long-term, yes. Short-term — possibly, or probably, not.

The reason why it is so complicated is at present most EU countries have borders currently closed to citizens from outside the bloc, due to Covid-19. Now that the UK has a “third country” ( because we have left the EU) status, citizens have lost their right to travel freely within the EU. There’s technically no difference now between a UK citizen wanting to visit France, and an American citizen — who, of course, have been banned since March — hoping to do the same.

night trains are making a comeback across europe - obviously the comeback was paused a little because of the pandemic

However, since EU states remain sovereign nations, each country has control over its own borders, and will be able to make an exception for UK citizens should it so wish. It might take some time to see how this pans out since arrivals from the UK are currently banned from most of Europe, thanks to the new variant of Covid-19, which was first identified in the south of England.

Most EU countries have placed Covid-related restrictions on entry from the UK until at least January 6. It’s only after that that we might get some clarification on whether or not countries will make exemptions for Brits once the current health crisis begins to abate.

There might be some surprises. Germany, for instance, has already included the UK in its list of permitted travel (although entry from the UK is currently banned until at least January 6 due to the new variant of Covid-19).

Any upsides?

Duty-free shopping will now return for journeys between the EU and UK, although the UK has ended duty-free on non-excise goods — electronics and cosmetics, for example.
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