Brexit and travel advice

Travel advice for students, applicants and staff

The University has not placed any additional restrictions on travel as a result of Brexit. However, you should follow the Brexit travel guidance outlined on these pages. In addition, University staff should continue to plan and book all international travel using the existing UWE Bristol international travel process (staff login required).

These pages summarise advice published the UK Government, ABTA and the University’s Insurer UMAL. UWE Bristol will update these pages regularly, however, you should click on the links provided to ensure you are fully up-to-date.

The Government will publish country-specific information on their travel advice pages to help you prepare for travel after Europen Union (EU) Exit. You can also receive the latest updates by signing up for alerts on each country page.

If there is no EU Exit deal, you will need to take new action before travelling to an EU destination. Use the Government's advice on travel after Brexit, together with the guidance on these UWE Bristol pages for information on what you need to do before travelling.

Travel advice and information

Common Travel Area (CTA)

The CTA is an arrangement between the UK, Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. The CTA is not reliant on membership of the EU. If you’re a British or Irish citizen in another part of the CTA, you’re not required to take any action and you can continue to travel freely within the CTA without seeking immigration permission from the authorities. If you are a non-Irish or non-British citizen, you should ensure that you follow entry clearance requirements.


Regardless of the Brexit outcome, planes will still fly between the UK and the EU. If a deal is agreed then we will be in a transition period, meaning everything will stay the same until the end of December 2020 and flights will continue as normal.


It is expected that trains from the UK to the EU will continue to operate.


Ferry services will still sail as the majority of the rules under which they operate are not based on EU rules, but are international.


Coaches will still be able to travel to and from the EU, and are expected to continue to take passengers to and around EU countries as usual.

Health Insurance and the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

For all international travel, Europe or elsewhere, it is important that travellers download and keep with them a copy of the University’s travel insurance cover summary. This short document contains emergency contact details and policy reference for Global Response, which will be required should there be a need to establish a guarantee of payment for medical charges.


In the event of a deal, the UK and the EU have reached an agreement that there should be a transition period up to 31 December 2020 to allow more time for negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship. During this time, all EU law would continue to apply in the UK. That would mean that citizens would have exactly the same rights and guarantees as before - so, you will still be able to use your EHIC card.

No Deal

The EHIC will cease to be valid in the event of no deal. This has a limited effect on university travellers under the University’s UMAL travel cover as it would simply mean UMAL would not be able to waive the £25 deductible for medical expenses.

Important: The University's travel insurance will not cover you for any family members, personal time, travel or activities unrelated to university business during your trip. You must have your own travel and medical insurance to cover these.


Deal or no deal

Check the date your passport expires. When travelling to the EU, the UK government recommends that you have six months left on your passport on the date of your arrival in an EU country.

For non-Schengen EU countries you will need to check the entry requirement for that country before travelling.

You should also check when your passport was renewed. If you renewed a 10 year adult passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport's expiry date. These extra months over 10 years will not count towards the six months that must be remaining. The UK Government has published a website tool to check the validity of your passport under these rules.

You can renew your passport online or by going to a Post Office with a Check and Send service.

You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your travel plans.



Travel to the EU will remain the same as now until at least 31 December 2020. You will not need to apply for a visa to travel or work in the EU during this time.

No deal

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the rules for travelling or working in Europe will change. You should check with the embassy of the country where you plan to travel for what type of visa, if any, you will need. You can find information about entry requirements on the Government’s country-specific travel advice pages. The European Commission proposed in November 2018 that, even in a no-deal scenario, UK travellers can still visit the EU without a visa, providing the same is offered to European citizens visiting the UK.

The European Commission has said that from 2021, UK citizens will need to pay a fee (of around 7 euros) for this visa exemption. This is part of a new electronic travel authorisation system applying to all third-country visitors to the EU, similar to the US ESTA regime.

NOTE: The University’s UMAL travel cover will not generally cover claims as a result of passports or other travel documents being invalid as this is not usually deemed beyond the control of the traveller.

Travel into the UK or returning to the UK

UK citizen

No change, entry to the UK as normal.

EU citizen

There will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens currently living in the UK until 30 June 2021, or 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Non-UK or non-EU-citizen

  • You must have a valid passport to enter the UK. It should be valid for the whole of your stay.
  • You may also need a visa, depending on which country you're from.
  • Check if you need a visa to enter the UK.
  • You must apply for your visa before you arrive in the UK.



As long as you have a full UK driving licence, you don't currently need an additional licence to drive in the EU.

No deal

This is likely to change in a no-deal scenario. UK travellers looking to drive in the EU on the exit date may need to apply for the relevant International Driving Permit.

These cost £5.50 and are available directly from the Post Office. The Government has extended the network of Post Offices where you can apply for an International Driving Permit; find your nearest Post Office branch

Check carefully which permit is required for each country you intend to drive within, as you may need more than one permit to comply with the law.

You need to make sure you have your International Driving Permit before you travel from the UK as you will not be able to apply for this when you are in the EU.

Green Card for car insurance

If the UK leaves without a deal, UK citizens driving their vehicle within the EU would be required to obtain and carry a physical Green Card in order for your UK car insurance to be applicable in the EU. These cards would be issued by insurers and you may be charged a small fee to cover administration costs.

Speak with your insurer for more information on obtaining a Green Card for any trip on or the exit date. The ABI– the trade body for the insurance industry – recommends you contact your car insurance company at least one month in advance of travelling.

Using a bank card

Using a bank card or other financial services in the EU after exit may be affected. Read more about using a bank card, insurance or other financial service in the EU. Your ability to use your bank card in the EU is unlikely to change as a result of leaving the EU; however, it may become more expensive.

Using a mobile phone


Using your mobile phone in the EU may be more expensive. Your mobile operator may not provide free roaming in the EU so check with them before you travel. Make sure you know how to turn off data roaming on your mobile if you are worried about being charged. Read more about using your mobile phone in the EU.

No deal

In the event that we leave the EU without a deal, the costs that EU mobile operators would be able to charge UK operators for providing roaming services would no longer be regulated after the exit date. This would mean that surcharge-free roaming when you travel to the EU could no longer be guaranteed. This would include employees of UK companies travelling in the EU for business.

Moving flora and fauna

No deal

Trading or moving endangered species listed under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) will change if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Read about trading and moving endangered animals, plants, and their products.