Visiting the UK from 1 January 2021

What you need to know about crossing the UK border and visiting the UK from 1 January 2021.

The UK has left the EU

This page tells you what you'll need to do from 1 January 2021. It'll be updated if anything changes.

You can also read about the transition period.

What you’ll need to enter the UK

If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen

Irish citizens will continue to be able to enter and live in the UK as they do now.

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens will continue to be able to travel to the UK for holidays or short trips without needing a visa. You’ll be able to cross the UK border using a valid passport.

We may stop accepting national ID cards for entry to the UK for EEA and Swiss citizens after 2020. We’ll announce further details, including the date for this change, in advance to allow travellers good time to plan their trips.

However if you began living in the UK before 31 December 2020 and obtain status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you’ll be able to use your EEA or Swiss national identity card to enter the UK until at least 31 December 2025.

You must have the correct documents to show at the UK border if you’re travelling to the UK from 1 January 2021. You will not be able to use any documents to enter the UK that are not listed here.

In other cases, find out if you’ll need to apply for a visa to enter the UK.

If you’re a non-EEA family member of an EEA or Swiss citizen

The documents that you need to travel to the UK will not change until at least 2021. We will provide further information on documentation requirements soon.

School travellers entering the UK

Check our guidance for school children entering the UK as part of a school group, which covers school children who are of a non-EU, EEA or Swiss nationality.

This explains the steps leaders of school parties must take before bringing school children to the UK as part of a school group from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, if they would normally need a visa to enter the UK.

What you can bring into the UK

From January 2021 there will be changes to:

Bringing your pet to and from the UK

Find out about pet travel to Europe.

Bringing goods into the UK

Some rules will change when you bring goods for your own use from the EU to the UK from January 2021. Find out more about bringing goods into the UK.

Merchandise in baggage

There will be a new process at airports, roll on roll off ports and Eurostar terminals from January 2021. This will allow traders to declare merchandise in baggage being imported from the EU to the UK in advance.

Controls on cash

Individuals travelling from the EU to the UK with £10,000 or more in cash will need to make a declaration. Find out about taking cash in and out of the UK.

Healthcare in the UK

EEA and Swiss citizens visiting the UK should check the guidance on healthcare for the latest information on access to NHS healthcare.

Driving in the UK

If you have a non-UK licence

Visitors with a non-UK driving licence will still be able to drive in the UK. You will not need an International Driving Permit (IDP).

If your vehicle is not insured in the UK

If you have vehicle insurance issued in the EU, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia or Switzerland, you should carry an insurance green card or other valid proof of insurance.

To be valid, other proof of insurance must be a document issued by the insurer of the vehicle, which includes the:

  • name of the insurer
  • number plate or other identifying particulars of the vehicle
  • period of insurance cover

Contact your vehicle insurer before you travel.

If your vehicle is insured in a country outside the EU, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia or Switzerland, what you’ll need to do will depend on if your country is a member of the green card system.

If your country is a member, you will need to carry a green card.

If your country is not a member, your vehicle will need UK vehicle insurance.

Using your mobile phone in the UK

How much pay for calls, texts and mobile data in the UK and the EU will depend on your operator. Please check before you travel.

Published 31 January 2020