Brexit - updated 15 Apr 2019
Confused about what Brexit means for your holidays? Olympic Holidays has some practical advice to reassure you.
Brexit: advice for travellers
Many people are already booking their travel plans for 2019, and have questions about what might happen when the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal. With th EU the political process is still ongoing and we don't yet know the final date for leaving or the outcome, however there have been some reassurances recently around flights and visas and these are reflected in our frequently asked questions.
We have also identified actions you may wish to take in advance to help avoid unnecessary future disruption in the event of a no-deal scenario.
Will flights still operate?
UK citizens can be reassured that regardless of the Brexit outcome planes will still fly between the UK and the EU: if a deal is agreed then we will be in a transition period, meaning everything will stay the same until the end of December 2020 and flights will continue as normal. Even if we are in a no-deal scenario, the European Commission has said that UK airlines will still be able to operate flights between the UK and the EU. The UK governemnt has offered similar assurances for EU airlines.
Will I need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit?
You shouldn’t need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit. The European Commission announced in November 2018 that, even in a no-deal scenario, UK travellers can still visit the EU without a visa, providing the same is offered to European citizens visiting the UK. The European Commission has said that from 2021, UK citizens will need to pay a fee (of around 7 Euros) for this visa exemption. This is part of a new electronic travel authorisation system applying to all third country visitors to the EU, similar to the US ESTA regime.
What happens if I book to travel after we leave the EU and my holiday cannot go ahead due to Brexit?
There is nothing to suggest that you will not be able to continue with your holiday plans: even in a no-deal scenario, the European Commission has said flights to and from the UK will still be able to operate.
If you book or have already booked a package holiday with Olympic Holidays you will enjoy the most comprehensive consumer protection: if you book a package, your holiday will be protected under the Package Travel Regulations, meaning you have a right to a full refund if your holiday can no longer be provided.
The UK Government has confirmed that the Package Travel Regulations will remain in the UK law when the UK leaves the EU.
Should I take out travel insurance to cover Brexit?
The best way to protect your holiday is to book a package with Olympic Holidays – it is our responsibility to make sure your holiday is provided and to offer an alternative or refund if it cannot be delivered.
It is essential that whenever and wherever you travel that you have adequate travel insurance which covers your specific needs, including any known medical conditions or activities you plan to do. It is also worth checking the detail of the policy around travel disruption including delays or cancellations as policies do vary.
Bringing items back with you at the end of your holiday
At the moment you can bring back to the UK from any other EU country duty free virtually unlimited amounts of alcohol, tobacco etc. provided it is for your personal use. This is likely to change when the UK exits the EU and to be treated as is currently the case with items brought back from outside the EU. Please familiarise yourself with the limits on goods which can be brought back to the UK duty free on the Government website.
Advice for travellers
This information only covers areas where you can take reasonable action or put plans into place now. Areas where the situation is still unclear are not included, but the information will be updated once clarified.
Check the date your passport expires. When travelling to the EU after the UK's exit, the UK government recommends that you have six months left on your passport on the date of your arrival to an EU country.
You should also check when your passport was renewed. If you renewed a 10 year adult passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months over 10 years will not count towards the 6 months that must be remaining. The UK Government has published a website tool to check the validity of your passport under these rules.
You can renew your passport online or by going to a Post Office with a Check and Send service.
You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.
Full details on renewing your passport can be found here
European Health Insurance Card and travel insurance
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows any EU citizen to access state medical care when they are travelling in another EU country. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, UK registered EHICs will no longer be valid.
Olympic Holidays always advises holidaymakers and business travellers to make sure they have appropriate travel insurance, whether they have an EHIC card or not, as there are limitations to EHIC.
When travelling in the EU and beyond, it is important you take out travel insurance and check that it covers your current circumstances, including any medical conditions. If you have an annual policy, make sure you check the Terms and Conditions and contact your insurance provider if you’re not sure.
Advice on travel insurance can be found here.
As long as you have a full UK driving licence, you don’t currently need an additional licence to drive in the EU. This is likely to change in a no-deal scenario. UK travellers looking to drive in the EU after Brexit may need to apply for the relevant International Driving Permit.
These cost £5.50 and are available directly from the AA, the RAC or the Post Office. The Government is working to extend the network of Post Offices where you can apply for an International Driving Permit, and has plans to roll these out in more branches across the UK from 1 February 2019.
Check carefully which permit is required for each country you intend to drive within, as you may need more than one permit to comply with the law.
More information is available here
Green cards for car insurance
If the UK leaves without a deal, UK citizens driving their vehicle within the EU would be required to obtain and carry a physical Green Card in order for your UK car insurance to be applicable in the EU. These cards would be issued by insurers and you may be charged a small fee to cover administration costs.
Speak with your insurer for more information on obtaining a Green Card for any trip on or after Brexit.
Under EU rules, the cost of making calls, sending messages or using the internet on your phone in the EU is the same in the UK. If the UK leaves without a deal these rules will no longer apply – however, some UK companies have said they may continue to offer this benefit to their customers. Before you travel, check with your mobile phone provider about the costs of using your phone in the EU.
Greece Overnight Tax
From the 1st January 2018 a new Overnight Stay Tax will be introduced by the Government of Greece. This will be payable locally by the individual tourist on checking in to accommodation in Greece and varies according to the official rating of the accommodation as follows:
1-2 star: €0.50 per room per night
3 star: €1.50 per room per night
4 star: €3.00 per room per night
5 star €4.00 per room per night
Payment can be made by cash or card.
All of our accommodation descriptions contain both our rating and the official rating of hotels and apartments. The amount you’ll pay is based on the official rating of the accommodation you have booked. The Olympic 'flame' ratings given to our accommodation may differ from the official star rating of the accommodation, please refer to our brochure or website descriptions if you are unsure.
Balearics sustainable Tourism Tax - 28 April 2016 at 15.30
A new Sustainable Tourism Tax will be introduced by the Balearic Government aimed at all overnight stays in Tourist Accommodation from the 1st July 2016. This will be collected at the accommodation.
The Balearic Government have advised that they shall be launching a website that will give further information about the tax and how the money is being spent and we shall add a link to this site as soon as it is available.
We understand that the tax will work out at between 1 - 2 euros per person per night (plus 10% VAT) and the amount payable will depend on the official rating of the accommodation (see table below).
Types of hotels, homes
|5 Star, 5 Star Luxury &
4 Star Superior Hotels
|4 Star & 3 Star
|1 Star, 2 Star &
3 Star Hotels
|4 Key & 4 Key Superior
|3 Key Superior Tourist
|1, 2 & 3 Key
|Holiday Rentals (fincas,
apartments & houses)
|Tourist Cruise Ships||1|
|Rural Hotels, Agro Tourism
Accommodation & Inland
|Hostels, Lodgings, Guest Houses,
Boarding Houses, Tourist
Camps or Campsites
|Shelters & Refuges||0.5|
- An additional 10% VAT will be added to the amount you pay locally.
- Children under the age of 16 are not liable to pay the tax.
- If you stay for more than 9 days the amount you pay for each additional night is reduced by 50%.
- If you stay between 1st November and 30th April you'll pay 50% of the amount shown.
- The amount you'll pay is based on the official rating of the accommodation according to the local Tourist Board classification. Our own accommodation rating will give you a good idea of the standard of the accommodation and is usually similar to the official rating, but there are some small differences between ratings. By using our ratings you should be able to work out an approximate amount to pay.
When and how to pay?
It is likely that you'll be asked to pay the tax when you check in at your accommodation. The Government haven't advised how this should be paid but we would recommend that you take sufficient Euro currency to cover the cost.
Arriving before 1st July 2016
If you travel to the Balearic Islands before the 1st July but are still at the accommodation after the 1st July, it is not clear whether you will have to pay the tax or not. We recommend that you budget for this cost just in case. If the Government clarify whether or not you will be required to pay we shall update this page.
Why do I have to pay?
The tax is something that is specifically aimed at tourists. It is a cost beyond our control. It is a Government imposed tax that has to be paid when you stay in accommodation in the Balearic Islands.