Communication from the European Commission on the preparation for the new relationship with the United Kingdom from January 1, 2021.

The “Preparing for Change” statement presents an overview, sector by sector, of the main areas in which there will be change and aims to help national authorities, businesses and citizens prepare for the inevitable changes that will occur. at the end of the transition period, regardless of whether an agreement on a future partnership has been reached.

We detail below the main changes planned in relation to Tourism:

1.- Control over people

During the transition period UK citizens are treated as Union citizens. Therefore, its nationals currently benefit from freedom of movement by entering the European Union and the Schengen area.

From 1 January 2021, UK citizens traveling to the European Union and the Schengen area will be treated as third-country nationals and will therefore be subject to extensive checks at the border of the Schengen area. This means that planned stays on the territory of the EU Member States cannot last more than 90 days in a 180 day period, and UK citizens will have to meet the entry conditions for nationals from third countries. They are also no longer able to use the EU / EEA / CH lanes reserved for people who enjoy the right of free movement when crossing the border.

2.- Visa requirements

During the transition period, citizens of the United Kingdom are treated as citizens of the Union. They are therefore not subject to any visa requirements in the European Union, in particular when crossing Schengen borders.

Recent EU legislative readiness measures have ensured that, from 1 January 2021, UK nationals will remain exempt from the visa requirement when crossing the external borders of the European Union for short stays term (up to 90 days in any 180-day period). This visa exemption does not establish the right to work in the Union and is subject to the reciprocity mechanism that applies to third countries, that is, it could be suspended if Union citizens cease to have access to the United Kingdom without a visa. Visa rules will also change for certain third country nationals residing in the UK when traveling to the Union. For example, from 1 January 2021 UK residence documents no longer exempt the holder from EU airport transit visa requirements and students from schools residing in the UK will no longer benefit automatically from a visa free access to the Union when taking school trips.

3.- Traveling with pets

During the transition period, UK resident pet owners can use the ‘EU pet passport” to facilitate travel in the European Union with their pets. From 1 January 2021, an EU pet passport will not be a valid document for traveling with pets from the UK to any of the EU Member States. The requirements for pets accompanying those traveling from the United Kingdom will be established in the future by the Union.

4.- Passenger rights

During the transition period, Union law on the rights of air, rail, bus, coach and boat passengers, including assistance to passengers with disabilities or reduced mobility, continues to apply to passengers leaving the United Kingdom for a EU Member State, regardless of whether the carrier is a UK or Union carrier. From 1 January 2021, the level of protection for passengers traveling between the EU and the UK will be affected. Depending on the mode of transport, passengers may no longer be protected by EU passenger rights when traveling to or from the UK.

5.- Transportation services

In relation to transport services during the transition period, the United Kingdom participates in the single market, which includes the Single Market for transport services. Therefore, at present, rail services, air transport, road transport services and operations can be carried out across the European Union with a single license, issued by a Member State. This also benefits EU operators in the UK during the transition period.


From 1 January 2021, UK companies will no longer be able to provide transport services within the Union as part of the single market. The possibilities and conditions for the EU and the UK for transport operators to carry out services between the European Union and the Kingdom States will largely depend on the negotiations on the future EU-UK relationship in the area of ​​transport.