Brexit: Remember your travel insurance
Following a third postponement, the UK leaves the EU on 31 January 2020. Parliament has voted in favour of this agreement and, after the country has left the EU, travellers to the UK should consider the UK a third country on a par with all other destinations outside the EU.
There have long been speculations about the consequences of Brexit, including those for Nordic travellers to and from the UK. Because what do you do if you are going to London on a weekend getaway or going hiking in Scotland after the UK have left the EU?
The UK becomes a third country
The answer is that you have to deal with the UK as you would all other destinations outside the EU.
Upon its resignation, the UK transitions from being an EU Member State to being a third country. First of all, this means that it is now even more important that you take out travel insurance before you travel, if you want to avoid having to pay the costs of acute illness or injury.
Today, the blue EU health insurance card puts you on the same footing as citizens of the EU/EEA country in which you are located and this applies only to treatment in public hospitals and medical clinics, but when the UK leaves, this no longer applies and, therefore, you need travel insurance to cover this type of expenses.
Thus, the healthcare you previously had access to without payment because you had a blue EU health insurance card is no longer free when travelling in the UK.
There will be a transition period after the UK formally leaves the EU which will last until 31 December 2020. During the transition your EHIC will remain valid. This means that you will still be able to use your EHIC if you travel to the UK during 2020.
Check your cover
It is also important that, prior to your trip, you check what your insurance covers and whether it provides coverage if you or one of your family members need medical assistance on the trip due to acute illness or injury.
Remember that, because the UK becomes a third country, you may need supplementary cover to your (existing) insurance.
In 2018, the SOS International alarm centre handled around 1 700 cases relating to Nordic travellers in the UK.
On 22 October 2019, the British Parliament voted in favour of a Brexit agreement for the first time. But it immediately voted against implementing Brexit by 31 October, as the government had otherwise wished, to have better time to negotiate the national legislation related to the leaving the EU.
The Prime Minister was then given an extension to 31 January 2020. This is the third time Brexit is postponed. Originally, the UK should have left the EU on 29 March 2019.
Read more about the importance of Brexit on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark