Preparing for EU Departure January 2021

Departure from the European Union (EU)

With the UK due to depart from the European Union (EU) on the 31st December 2020, we have prepared this short guidance for any trips taking place post departure. At the time of writing the Department for Education is advising against all International Travel.

This is under review and this guidance should be checked prior to any international travel.

From the 1st January 2021 travel to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein will change. Full guidance can be found here. We have highlighted some considerations below. Before any international travel we recommend you check the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel guidance, paying particular attention to ‘Entry Requirements’.

Passport requirements

Prior to travel you must check all travellers (staff, volunteers and students, etc.) have:

  • a valid passport with at least 6 months left until expiry from the date of return; and
  • was issued within the last 10 years.

You will also need to check if there are visa requirements, this is especially important if any of your travellers do not hold a UK passport.

Checking your travel insurance cover

Many schools, Trusts and LAs will have a very comprehensive travel insurance, prior to travel you should consult your insurance policy regarding the country. It is also important to check if you are undertaking adventurous activities whilst away such as Skiing or Snowsports.

European Health Insurance Card

An European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) covers state healthcare, not private treatment. With an EHIC you can get emergency or necessary medical care for the same cost as a resident in the country you are visiting. This means that you can get healthcare at a reduced cost or for free. Find out what an EHIC covers in each country here.

Changes to travel, communications and providers to note

Driving Abroad

If you are driving abroad, for example taking the establishment minibus, you may need extra documents from 1st January 2021. You might need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in some countries. You might also need a ‘green card’ or valid proof of insurance and a GB sticker. You can find out if you need an IDP here.


From 1st January 2021, the guarantee of free mobile phone roaming throughout the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will end. Many mobile providers sell a travel bolt on. Without this bolt on, international travel calls can mount up. Many providers cap the spend at £45, you will need to opt out to allow greater spend.


We recommend you travel with a provider who holds the LOtC Quality badge, you can check this by visiting If you opt not to travel with a provider who holds this badge, please ensure they have appropriate bonding such as ABTA.

Contact our educational visits team.

If you would like further guidance or information about Educational Visits, please do not hesitate to contact our team.