Holidays on hold and uncertainty over pets as Brexit confusion continues

pet owner with dog waiting in the waiting room
Chris Stoddard
Chris Stoddard

Confusion around Brexit has left holidaymakers and their pets in limbo as uncertainty about costs of future EU trips continues.

Sky News reports that as the outcome of Brexit remains unknown, people in Derby are putting holidays on hold as they wait to understand what they might need when travelling to the European Union. Like thousands of other families hoping to go away during the Easter break, Colleen has pressed pause on her plans. She usually drives with her husband from Derby to France six or seven times a year but this will be the first Easter in more than a decade when they will be staying at home - at least until they know the outcome of the votes in Parliament this week. "As yet I haven't booked anything, I daren't," she told Sky News. "I want to see what is going to happen this week with all the voting that's going on. I'm just concerned that if we book somewhere, we will be involved in long queues and I'm worried if we crash out without a deal." Colleen says the uncertainty and bureaucracy has made her regular travel much more stressful. "We are on pause at the moment," she said. "We don't know if we have insurance once we reach our destination.” "It's been so easy in the past, now with all this bureaucracy its like going back to the 1970s." If you are intending on travelling to the EU, there is a long check list of things to be done in preparation: • Travel Insurance - UK citizens may no longer be entitled to free health care using their European health insurance cards, or EHICs. • Driving - UK drivers will need to obtain an international licence from the Post Office as the current UK during licence might not be valid. • Car Insurance - drivers will also need to get a green card from their car insurance company to prove they are covered to drive on European roads. This needs to be done a month before leaving the UK. • Flight delays - Flights shouldn't be affected as both the EU and UK governments have said they will allow airlines to fly as normal, but delays cannot be ruled out. • Passports - UK travellers will need to have at least six months left on their passport before they go away. • Pets - travel to the EU gets trickier if you are taking the whole family. If we leave without a deal, a pet dog, cat or ferret will need to be microchipped and have a vaccination against rabies, which will then require a follow up blood test. This whole process needs at least four months to complete. Jane Renshaw has booked a holiday to Spain in the next couple of weeks and intends on taking her two-year-old cockapoo, Boo. She has made the journey by car a few times before but this time round says it's been much harder to organise. She said: "It's been quite stressful as we didn't really think about it when we booked the holiday and then realised we needed four months in order to get the rabies injection and blood test. "It's quite a costly thing, it's cost me £200, just in case we leave without a deal. It was something I couldn't just wait for, or we wouldn't have a holiday." The Alfreton Park Veterinary hospital said it's been inundated with questions from pet owners unsure of what they need to travel. Vet Nick Pine, said: "We had a lot of people coming to us and also we have been informing people. Many people hadn't even thought about it. We have seen a lot of people horrified." Holiday-makers face even more uncertainty now. As Theresa May's deal has been rejected, again, the chance of an orderly transition period - where nothing would change - has diminished. With no deal, and no transition period, holiday-makers will face a long check list of documentation and permits needed to go on holiday. If the UK crashes out of the EU on 29 March there could be a long check list of documentation and permits needed to go on holiday. One silver lining of this scenario, however, could be the return of duty free sales at airports and on ferries when travelling to the EU, which would make spirits, tobacco and other items cheaper and perhaps even bring a welcome boost to UK tourism.
(Story source: Sky News)

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