February 3, 2021 webdevelopment 0 Comments

What you need to know about entering the UK from 1 January 2021 as an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen

Many people have been wondering about the new travel rules when the transition period after Brexit comes to an end on 31 December 2020. The UK Home Office has just released new guidance on what EU, EEA and Swiss citizens must do if they wish to enter the United Kingdom from 2021.

Woodcock Law has set out the main points below.

EU, EEA or Swiss citizens:

EU, EEA or Swiss citizens will be able to travel to the UK for short trips or holidays without a visa until 1 October 2021. You will need to show a valid passport or national identity card at the UK border.

New rules come into effect from 1 October 2021, and EU, EEA or Swiss citizens will no longer be allowed to enter the UK on their national identity card unless they meet the following Home Office criteria:

You will need to show proof of the above at the UK border.

Non-EEA family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen

From 1 January 021, non-EEA family members will need a valid passport, and

  • an EU Settlement Scheme family permit, or
  • a UK-issued EEA family permit; or
  • a UK-issued biometric residence card.

You will need to show proof of the above at the UK border.

It is important to note that Article 10 or Article 20 residence cards issued by an EEA member state are no longer valid

Bringing personal goods into the UK

You do not have to pay duty or tax on goods from the EU if you transport them yourself, will use them yourself or gift them, and have paid tax in the country where they were purchased.

You can read more about bringing goods into the UK here.

Merchandise in baggage

According to the gov.uk website, there will be a new process at international arrivals from January 2021. Traders will be able to declare merchandise in baggage being imported from the EU to the UK in advance.



Individuals travelling from the EU to the UK with £10,000 or more in cash will need to make a declaration.

Pet travel

A current EU pet passport issued in GB will not be valid for travel to the EU or NI from 1 January 2021. Instead, pet owners will need to get an Animal Healthcare Certificate (AHC) from an official veterinarian.

 You can read more about bringing your pet to the UK here.

Healthcare in the UK

It is recommended that you travel with your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), and have travel insurance. It is important to note that EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance as it does not cover everything.

You can read the latest government guidance on NHS healthcare here.

Driving in the UK

Individuals with a non-UK driving licence will still be allowed to drive in the UK – this does not change. You do not need an international driving permit (IDP).

You must however carry valid proof of insurance or an insurance green card if your vehicle is not insured in the UK.

You can check if your country is a member here.

Mobile phone roaming in the UK

You will need to check with your mobile operator for rates for calls, texts and mobile data in the UK.

How can we help:

Woodcock Law can provide information on the new immigration system post-Brexit for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens.

For any enquiries, please email nathan@woodcocklaw.co.uk.