How should I travel in the UK

Entry requirements for England / Great Britain

Coronavirus / Covid-19: Current information for travelers

The worldwide travel warning was lifted on October 1, 2020. Instead, the Federal Foreign Office issues differentiated travel and safety information for each individual country. We are currently warned or discouraged against unnecessary tourist trips to a large number of countries.

Before you travel to Great Britain, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, Northern Ireland and the British overseas territories, please check the entry requirements as well as the travel and safety instructions from the Federal Foreign Office. Please also note the applicable quarantine regulations and test regulations of the federal states for travelers returning.

The following official websites are available for this purpose:

Please note that the situation is developing dynamically and can change at any time.

Brexit: current information for travelers since 1.1.2021

How will Brexit affect my trip to the UK?

We have put together some information for you and answer the most important questions that can arise when planning a trip to the United Kingdom.


Do I need a valid passport after the UK leaves the EU?

Great Britain finally left the EU on December 31, 2020. However, nothing will change for travelers to the UK and Northern Ireland until October 1, 2021. German citizens, citizens of the EU and Switzerland still need a valid identity card or passport when entering for vacation or short trips until the end of September 2021.

From October 1, 2021, you will need a passport to enter the country. An identity card is then no longer sufficient.

Only people belonging to one of the following groups can still enter Great Britain with their ID card until December 31, 2025:

  • Individuals with permanent status under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • Persons with cross-border work permits
  • S2 Healthcare Visitor
  • Swiss service provider

For all further information, please refer to the information from the Federal Foreign Office and the information for German citizens of the British government.

Do I need a visa to travel to the UK after Brexit?

For a vacation or a short trip, travelers from Germany can enter Great Britain without a visa. Please note that the passport must be valid for the entire duration of your stay in the UK. If necessary, extend the validity of your passport before your departure.

At this point, too, we would like to draw your attention to the official information from the Federal Foreign Office.

Do I have to expect longer waiting times when entering the country?

When crossing the border at airports, ports and train stations as well as at passport control, be prepared for longer waiting times due to more extensive controls (inquiries about the reason for the trip, length of stay, etc.).

What about flights from Europe to the UK?

Brexit has no impact on flight connections between the UK and Europe.

Please note that there are currently massive restrictions on entry to Great Britain due to the corona pandemic.

Is the European health insurance card still valid?

According to the UK government website, visitors from any EU country can use their valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to access public health services. Please note, however, that the European Health Insurance Card is not travel insurance. We therefore recommend that you take out travel insurance before you travel. This covers more benefits than the EHIC. If you have already taken out insurance, ask your insurer in advance of your vacation about the rules that apply to travel to the UK after Brexit.

Can you buy and take away duty-free goods in the UK after Brexit?

So far there have been “duty free” shopping opportunities for travel to or from a country that is not part of the European Union. In order to take advantage of this tax exemption, it may be necessary to present your ticket. It is currently unclear whether this tax exemption will apply to border traffic to and from Great Britain in the event of a Brexit. The German Customs provides information on current regulations on its website.

Can I use my mobile phone as usual in the UK after Brexit?

This depends on your wireless service provider. Before you travel, contact your network operator for more information on applicable phone calls, SMS messages, or cellular data charges.

Did Brexit change the rules for using credit cards?

Before you travel to Great Britain, contact the issuing credit institution or bank and inquire about the conditions of use of your credit card in non-European countries. There may be additional charges for using a credit card in the UK.

Can I travel to the UK with my pet?

The EU pet passport is still valid for entry into Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland). All pets must be microchipped and vaccinated against rabies before entering the UK. Dogs usually also need to have tapeworm treatment. Pet travelers will have to wait 21 days after initial vaccination before they can enter the UK. Please visit the UK Government Official Site for more information. You can find more information about the entry regulations for pets into Northern Ireland here.

The British tourist office Visit Britain has also put together extensive information on traveling with dogs.

Where can I find more information and travel advice after Brexit?

You can find relevant information from the Federal Government on the website of the Federal Foreign Office. The website of the German Embassy in Great Britain has also created a special page with a lot of information on the subject of Brexit and updates it regularly.

This article was last updated on February 16, 2021.

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