The pandemic isn’t the only global event hampering travel for citizens in the United Kingdom. The UK’s January 2021 exit from the European Union is a major disruptor. In the report, Brexit: What it means for business travel, BCD Travel’s Research & Innovation team examines six areas travel managers and travelers need to consider as they prepare to get back to business travel. Here are a few takeaways for each category.
Visas and passports
For travel to some countries, UK passports must meet requirements for age (must be less than 10 years old) and validity (expiration must be at least six months beyond travel dates). This section also addresses changes to national ID policies and guidance for travel managers who need to track the time their travelers spend in the UK or Europe for both business and leisure purposes.
Immigration officials may now require people traveling in either direction to provide proof that a return or onward trip has been booked. This section outlines respective delays EU and UK passengers may face.
A helpful list outlines 11 conditions under which UK, EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens can make short business trip without visas. This section defines the general business activities Europeans are allowed to undertake on trips to the UK. It also points travel managers to resources for further assistance.
Individual European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) held by UK citizens remain valid until their expiry date. As UK citizens may replace their expired EHICs with a (global) GHIC, for free, they can retain access to emergency healthcare while in the EU/EEA and Switzerland, including for pre-existing and chronic conditions. This section in the report provides a high-level explanation on healthcare cards for EU visitors going to the UK.
The guarantee of free mobile phone roaming throughout the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway has ended. Your travelers may need to explore local data plans to reduce costs.
As the UK is now regarded as a “third country” subject to EU foodstuff regulations, travelers may be prohibited from possessing certain personal goods, i.e. cheese or ham sandwiches. Carrots, maize, cut flowers, potatoes, and some leafy vegetables are also restricted. Biosecurity checks at borders may add extra time to the journey, and fines may apply to anyone breaking the rules.
Read the full report for more guidance and ask your program manager how BCD can help inform and educate your travelers about changing regulations that may affect your travel policy.
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The guide, originally published in June 2020, now reflects where we are today, including survey results on whether travelers will embrace digital health passes (DHPs) and details on why high-speed rail will play a larger role in business travel.
Here’s a sneak peek: Travelers will embrace DHPs that are safe and easy to use. And, with a nod to sustainability, high-speed rail is gaining traction because trains are generally considered the “greenest” way to travel.