Your passport now has to meet two strict entry conditions which the European Union has long had in place for ‘third countries’ – and it involves the printed issue date
Families heading abroad over October half term are being reminded to check the issue date on their passports ahead of travel.
That’s because under new Brexit terms, to gain entry into Europe, your passport must have been issued in the last 10 years.
This means that even if you have 12 months left on a passport, you could still be denied travel if the passport has passed the 10-year timeline since it was issued.
“It all goes back to Brexit. If you remember before that when we were in the European Union all the way up to the transition period it was really straightforward,” travel expert Simon Calder told BBC Radio 4.
“If you had a British passport, you could go to the EU and stay in any of those countries up to and including the expiry date.
“But now, your passport has to meet two conditions which the European Union has long had in place for third countries, which is what we are now.”
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The conditions are that a passport needs to be valid for at least three months after the date you intend to leave the EU, and it has to have been issued within the last 10 years.
Simon continued: “Many of us didn’t even notice in January because international travel was banned, but once trips were allowed again, many people have checked the expiry date and not the issue date.”
Up until September 2018, the policy for passports gave individuals credit for unspent time when renewing their passports which was typically up to 10 years and nine months.
Simon added: “So you could have a passport issued in 2011 that may not expire until 2022, but then the rule kicked in and for the EU any non-members passports are deemed to have expired after 10 years.”
From 4am on Monday, October 4, the rules for international travel to England will change from the red, amber, green traffic light system to a single red list of countries and simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world.
The rules for travel from countries and territories not on the red list will depend on your vaccination status.
If you arrive in England before October 4, you must follow the current rules.
This means you must book and take any Covid-19 tests you need and follow the quarantine rules that are in place for your destination at the time you arrive in England.
From October, the red list will be slimmed down, reducing the number of destinations from where arrivals to the UK need to spend 10 days in a Government-approved quarantine hotel.
Double-vaccinated passengers arriving from non red-list countries will no longer have to take day 2 PCR tests from a date later in October – but they will have to take a cheaper lateral flow test instead.
Tim Alderslade, CEO of Airlines UK, the industry body, said: “This is a positive step which moves us much closer to the reopening of UK aviation and provides greater reassurance to passengers desperate to travel.
“By reducing the number of red list destinations and scrapping PCR testing, ministers have paved the way for people to get away this October half-term and into the winter following 18 months of uncertainty.
See a breakdown of all the new rules here.