Reine Village in Lofoten Islands, Norway

Latest updates:
9 September 2020 |
Irish Government Brexit Readiness Action Plan published 
26 August 2020 | Page refresh and additions include information for UK employers on new UK immigration system.


The EU and the UK are currently negotiating an agreement on the future trading relationship that will take effect from 1 January 2021 when EU laws no longer apply to the UK. How much this will impact travel is uncertain until negotiations are concluded. To allow time for ratification of any agreement in respective parliaments, the EU and UK Government have expressed a desire for negotiations to conclude by mid-October.

The guidance below relates to what we know and understand as at 26 August 2020. Please keep checking this page for updates. Members with queries or seeking further information are welcome to call us or email

Further information:

Visitors to/from EU and UK

Border process

For EU and non-EU nationals visiting Schengen, EU non-Schengen and UK


Applicable for visitors from EEA (EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway), Switzerland or the UK from 1 January 2021  

  • EHIC may no longer be used by EEA/Swiss nationals in the UK and UK nationals in the EEA/Switzerland unless reciprocal healthcare arrangements are agreed between the EU and the UK or a bilateral agreement between EEA member country/Switzerland and the UK
  • Surcharge-free roaming will no longer be regulated and guaranteed. Therefore, roaming charges may be re-introduced for EEA nationals in the UK and UK nationals in the EEA by mobile communication providers. Travellers are advised to check their mobile operator(s) roaming policy.
  • Should roaming charges be re-introduced, UK Government has legislated that charges are limited to £45 per monthly billing period unless the customer actively consents to continue spending. EU law is currently set to €50.
  • EU Portability Regulation will cease to apply to UK-EEA travel. This regulation governs the availability of online content services (e.g. videoon-demand streaming services) 
  • Online content service providers will not be required to provide content to a EEA customer visiting the UK or a UK customer visiting an EEA member country, but may wish to do so voluntarily. This will depend on the terms of the services and licences in place between service providers and right holders. Further information from UK Government here. 


  • Free movement within the EU (excluding Ireland due to the Common Travel Area) will end on 1 January 2021.  
  • The right to work will mainly depend on the national laws of each country and bilateral agreements, unless the UK has an agreement with the EU or the UK national is a family member of an EU national.  
  • There is no work visa that applies to the whole Schengen areaA work visa does not count towards the 90 day limit in a 180-day rolling period for non-EU visa waiver nationals visiting the Schengen area, as it is subject to different rules.  
  • The EU Directive on Seasonal Workers covers the conditions of entry and residence of seasonal workers from non-EU countries but each country still determines whether to grant entryCountry specific information in relation to seasonal workers can be found here  
  • If there is an agreement between the EU and the UK to allow temporary workers (e.g. posted or seasonal workers such as tour guides) without a work permit/visa being required, UK nationals may still be subject to the 90 day limit in a 180-day rolling period for non-EU visa waiver nationals. It is likely any agreement would also include non-Schengen EU countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania) as the same rules are applied at their external borders, but time in a non-Schengen country does not count towards the 90 day limit in Schengen. 
  • Further information from European Commission: Non-EU nationals,  Work permits,  Schengen visa waiver FAQ 
  • Further information from UK Government: Providing services and travelling for business to EU/EEA and Switzerland from 1 January 2021 

Unless agreed otherwise, the principle of mutual recognition between EU member states and the UK of professionals seeking to provide services in either EU or UK on a temporary and occasional basis will end after the transition period. Such activity would then be subject to bilateral agreements between the UK and individual EU states since EU states, not the EU itself, have competence in professional regulation. The EU manages the framework that promotes mutual recognition and cross border services within the EU. 

  • The UK Government will introduce a new ‘points based’ immigration system from 1 January 2021 which will apply to all non-UK nationals (except Irish nationals due to the Common Travel Area).
  • Freedom of movement for EU nationals in the UK will end at this time (except Irish or EU nationals resident in the UK prior to 1 January 2021).
  • The right for non-UK nationals to work permanently and temporarily in the UK will be subject to the new immigration system, unless there is a bilateral agreement between the non-UK country and the UK such as on posted workers.
  • Immigration rules for visitors including permitted business activities can be found in Appendix 3.
  • Information for UK employers on the new immigration system and how to register to become a licenced sponsor which is required to recruit a non-UK national. To receive email alerts on updates register here.


  • For a stay lasting more than 90 days a residence permit or a long-stay visa from the national migration authorities of the host EU country will be required (excluding Ireland). For information on working please see section above.
  • UK nationals will continue not to be subject to immigration restrictions to live in Irelandin accordance with the Common Travel Area agreement between Ireland and the UK. 
  • Further information issued by the UK Government is available here and covers living in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
  • All EU nationals (excluding Irish) resident in the UK before 1 January 2021 are required to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme before 30 June 2021. The scheme is free and only needs to be completed once.  
  • For EU nationals living in the UK for less than 5 years, pre-settled status will be granted; 5 years or more, settled status. Both offer broadly the same rights i.e. access to work and health but EU nationals with pre-settled status can only leave the UK for up to 2 years in a row without affecting their status (whereas for those with settled status the maximum is 5 years).  
  • EU nationals with status under the EU Settlement Scheme will not be subject to the new UK immigration system when implemented from 1 January 2021.
  • EU nationals with status under the EU Settlement Scheme will still be able to use a national identity card to enter the UK until at least 31 December 2025.


  • This remains subject to agreement but ‘basic connectivity’ of ‘point-to-point’ air services is expected to be allowed between EU and UK. 
  • UK-registered airlines being allowed to operate intra-EU flights is subject to negotiation between EU and UK.
  • Ferry services from Great Britain to Ireland and mainland Europe will continue to operate within the same regulatory framework as before, as international law governs these services.   
  • Cross border rail services in Ireland, and between England and mainland Europe are expected to continue to operate as usual. These services are subject to bilateral agreements.  


  • The UK will join the Interbus Agreement which will allow ‘closed door’ coach tours (occasional services) to continue between the EU and the UK and Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Moldova, Turkey and Ukraine.  

Non-Interbus and non-EU countries  

  • The UK Government has advised that until an agreement is reached, UK coaches will not be able to run occasional services to non-EU countries that are not signatory to the Interbus Agreement; these include Norway and Switzerland. This is because there is no agreement that allows a non-EU registered coach to travel through the EU to a non-EU non-Interbus country.  
  • UK coaches can still drive through a country not in the Interbus Agreement, but that country cannot be the final destination.  
  • EUregistered coaches can still travel to Norway and Switzerland as their destination.  


  • The Interbus Agreement does not cover cabotage (pick up and set down of passengers outside the coach company’s home country). Thus, whether this practice is allowed from 1 January 2021 for UK operators in the EU or EU operators in the UK is subject to negotiation between the EU and the UK.

Regular services  

  • Regular coach services e.g. scheduled inter-city services are expected to continue to operate until their inclusion in the Interbus Agreement is ratified. 
  • UK licence holders will not require an International Driving Permit (IDP) for stays of up to 12 months in any EU and EEA country and Switzerland. For other countries please check here. If required, an IDP can be purchased from Post Offices.
  • EU licence holders will not require an IDP to drive in the UK.  
  • UK trailer may need to be registered before being towed in some European countries. Further information is available here  
  • A green card (proof of insurance) may be required for EU licence holders travelling to the UK and UK licence holders travelling to the EU depending on the outcome of negotiations between the EU and the UK. Should a green card be required, this can be obtained from insurance companies and one month’s notice is recommended to be given. If the vehicle is towing a trailer, an additional green card for the trailer may be required. 
  • UK vehicles may need to display a GB sticker on the rear of the vehicle when travelling in the EU (excluding Ireland), even if the registration plate has a GB identifier. 


  • UK version of TOMS is proposed by UK’s HM Revenue & Customs where UK businesses will only pay VAT on UK travel.  
  • UK businesses trading in EU countries will still be subject to VAT on EU travel and may need to register for VAT in each member stateThey would then have to reclaim input VAT, and remiVAT on the price paid by the consumer. European Commission guidance on VAT (services) is available here. 
  • HM Revenue & Customs have yet to confirm if EU businesses trading in the UK will pay UK VAT. We understand this will not be the case but this may change depending on the UK’s future relationship with the EU.    

Members can receive initial advice on a complimentary basis by contacting Elman Wall Bennett (contact details provided in the member area hotline page) or please contact ETOA’s policy team for further information. Elman Wall Bennett’s latest quarterly newsletter can be read on our tax and tourism page.

Overall links to Guidance  

Travel during 2020

Transition period

Learn more

Disclaimer: While best efforts have been made to verify the accuracy of the information, the information displayed on this page should be used as guidance only.

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