Travel for UK citizens in Europe after Brexit
Travel in the Schengen area for UK citizens after Brexit.
The Transition Period
Under the negotiated Withdrawal Agreement, free movement will continue between the EU and the UK during the transition period (ie 1 February-31 December 2020). This means that travel between the UK and the EU for EU and UK nationals will continue on broadly the same terms as now. The transition period will allow a future immigration relationship to be negotiated by the EU and UK. That future immigration relationship between the UK and the EU will commence after the transition period.
What is certain is that by the end of 2021 the requirement for an ETIAS visa waiver will apply to UK citizens. By the end of 2021, the European Travel Information and Authority System (ETIAS) will go into effect.
The ETIAS is a waiver program that will allow citizens with valid passports from over 60 countries (including the United Kingdom) to apply for visa-free entry into the Schengen Area. It is important to remember that although UK travellers will not require a visa, they will be required to make arrangements with European authorities with sufficient time before travelling, which will mean an online application for ETIAS.
Once approved, ETIAS waiver holders from the United Kingdom will be eligible to stay within the Schengen Area, visiting as many countries as they please, for up to 90 days within 180 days. Note: An ETIAS is valid for multiple entries as long as 90 days of stay within the Schengen Area has not been exceeded over a period of 180 days.
Pilgrims walking the Via Francigena from Canterbury to Rome will enter Schengen as soon as they arrive in France. Switzerland is part of Schengen, even though not in the EU. It is entirely possible for most to walk Calais-Rome in 90 days, given reasonable fitness, and still take the occasional day off.
If, however, once these constraints apply, and you find yourself likely to outstay the 90 days, contact the nearest British embassy or consulate for advice.
The ETIAS waiver application when necessary can be completed online unlike typical visa applications, which need to be completed in person at a consulate or embassy.