UK Advises Its Citizens to Ensure Their Passports Are Stamped When Travelling to & From the EU

The United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) has issued another travel advice for Britons travelling to the European Union regarding the post-Brexit rules that these travellers are now subject to.

The FCDO now advises British travellers to make sure that their passports are being stamped when entering and leaving the border-free Schengen Area, or else they might face problems, reports.

Check your passport is stamped if you enter or exit the Schengen area as a visitor,” the FCDO new advice reads, further noting that at each border control, the border guards are obliged to check passports stamps in order to make sure that travellers are not overstaying the permitted 90 days for short stays in the Schengen Area.

If relevant entry or exit stamps are not in your passport, border guards will presume that you have overstayed your visa-free limit,” the advice further reads.

It also advises Brits travelling to the EU whose passports haven’t been stamped when entering or leaving the block to ask the border guards to add that date and location in their passports by showing evidence of when and where they entered or exited the Schengen Zone.

The advice comes in the light of media reports on several cases where Brits had problems due to their passports not being stamped. One of the cases is that of a 72 years old woman who, on September 26, was rejected from entering Spain after she did not have the exit stamp of her previous stay.

Up until December 31, 2020, as EU nationals, Brits could travel throughout the whole block with their IDs alone. Since January this year, Brits can travel to the EU only with their passports, as their IDs are now no longer accepted as sufficient documentation for travel.

In addition, the FCDO, in a piece of previous advice, had urged Brits to have the following documents with them when travelling to any of the EU and Schengen Area countries:

  • European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
  • travel insurance
  • a return or onward ticket
  • enough money for the stay
  • proof of accommodation for the whole duration of the stay, i.e. a hotel booking confirmation, proof of address if visiting a second home), or an invitation from a host

>> UK Calls on Its Citizens to Follow New Entry Rules When Travelling to EU/Schengen Countries

At the same time, Brits are subject to the requirement of proof of vaccination when travelling to the block due to COVID-19. They can prove their vaccination status with an NHS COVID pass, as the latter has been recognized by the EU since October 29 upon a decision of the EU Commission to recognize it equivalent to the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate.

This means that UK travellers can now travel for non-essential purposes to all EU and Schengen Area countries as long as they prove that they have been fully vaccinated.

>> Travelling to EU With NHS COVID Certificate: What Brits Should Know

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