On Jan.1, the UK crossed the finish line of finalizing Brexit.
Leaving the EU is a game-changer, and below, you’ll find some ways Brexit affects travel bloggers and digital nomads.
But keep several things in mind.
First, this list comes at a time when Brexit is fresh so many details aren’t yet clear and some may change. So, check for developments before you travel.
Second, some rules vary from country to country. For example, different countries have different rules for business travel as you’ll see below. So, check regulations for the countries you’re visiting.
Third, this list is focused on how Brexit affects travel bloggers and doesn’t take any coronavirus rules and restrictions into consideration.
Travel bloggers could feel the effects of Brexit before the start of 2021 because the pound crashed in 2016 when the UK held the Brexit referendum.
According to CNN, the British currency never clawed its way back, so visiting the UK has been cheaper for years, and that’s expected to continue.
The British pound isn’t expected to regain its heights any time soon. Once, it was common for £1 to cost about $2.
On Dec. 31, 2020, the day before Brexit, £1 was equal to €1.11 euros or $1.3. It’s nearly two weeks post-Brexit, and the rates are still about the same.
Travel limits for UK bloggers
British bloggers who were filling their pages with content from European locations may have to gather it much faster.
The days of UK bloggers traveling around the EU for months upon months are over.
UK bloggers can still travel visa-free in the Schengen area (EU), but they can only spend 90 days out of every 180 days.
That limit also applies to visiting Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein (the EFTA states).
And that’s a total of 90 days for all those countries. So no, you can’t spend 90 days per country.
Passport stamps will be used to track this.
Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania form a separate bloc. UK bloggers get an additional total of 90 days during a 180-day period to travel in these countries, Business Travel News confirmed.
Bloggers from Ireland are exempt from the 90/180 rule.
Another way Brexit affects travel bloggers is by requiring UK citizens to have six months of validity left on their passports to enter the EU.
EU passport holders are not burdened with this six-month requirement to visit the UK.
But EU residents can only use identity cards to enter the UK until October 1, 2021. After that, EU residents will need a passport, unless limited number of exceptions apply.
Travel limits for EU bloggers
EU citizens can travel to the UK for six months a year and stay for the full stretch if they want to.
Changes coming for all EU-bound travelers
By the end of 2022, citizens from 60 countries will need approval through the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) to enter the Schengen Area without a visa.
ETIAS is a visa waiver program like the US Electronic System for Travel Authorization. It’s designed to enhance border security by pre-screening travelers.
If you’re a citizen from a county in blue traveling to any of the countries in purple, this applies to you. You can file the application online.
Passport lanes & border crossings
Brexit affects travel bloggers’ ease of entry into the EU because UK passport holders can’t use the special passport and customs lanes reserved for EU citizens.
For those flying, this may cause delays. So, factor in additional time.
EU passport holders can continue using the UK/EEA channels and ePassport gates.
Citizens from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and the US can also use these lanes.
Also, CNN reported Gibralter Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said UK nationals will not be able to use the territory for back-door entry into Spain.
Until at least January 19, 2021, no one can enter Spain via Gibraltar unless you are a Spanish national, legal resident of Spain or Gibralter or a cross-border worker.
This is listed under regular entry requirements, not the COVID-19 requirements, so you’ll want to check how and if this changes after that date.
Brexit affects travel bloggers by changing or potentially changing document requirements in different countries.
Take Spain. The country now reserves the right to refuse entry to tourists who can’t provide proof of where they will be staying, a documented itinerary or a round-trip flight.
And CNN said anyone entering Spain must demonstrate that they have sufficient means of supporting themselves, which is at least €90 per day and a minimum of €810 for a trip, even if it’s a weekend stay.
Don’t stock up on animal products if you’re planning to travel from the UK to the EU. You cannot carry meat or dairy products from England, Scotland or Wales into Northern Ireland or EU countries.
And, The Guardian reported that authorities are confiscating items found in vehicles at border crossings.
Also, Brexit brought back duty-free shopping for trips between the EU and UK. So, you can buy alcohol and tobacco duty-free going in either direction.
But you can’t reclaim value-added tax on items purchased from shops in England, Scotland or Wales.
Business travel changes
Brexit complicates business travel.
For the first time since 1973, UK and EU travelers may need visas or work permits for certain activities that they could do freely before, said Business Travel News.
Take EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens, Gov.uk said they’re allowed to participate in business activities, including meetings, events and conferences.
But business activities that are prohibited include :
- paid or unpaid work for a UK company or as a self-employed person
- a work placement or internship
- selling directly to the public or provide goods and services
This suggests that travel bloggers from those countries cannot work for UK companies or do freelance work in the UK.
Cell phone roaming costs
EU and UK phone companies can now charge roaming costs for customers outside of their region.
The top UK service providers said they don’t plan to do that. But, if you deal with cell companies in the EU, you should check.
This is not an exhaustive list of how Brexit affects travel bloggers. There is some ambiguity, for example, about how and when changes will apply to European Health Insurance Cards, so be sure to do your research before you travel.
And if you any info to share with fellow bloggers and digital nomads, feel free to drop them in the comments below.