British travellers passport warning over new government rules

British travellers passport holders have been warned about expiry dates over new government rules for 26 countries.

The UK government has updated its latest passport warning for Brits thinking of going on holiday to Europe for the autumn half-term break and beyond. With families heading abroad this week, many are being warned to check the documents to avoid problems at the border.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) shared information about these changes alongside the British Embassy in Madrid, according to a report from The Sun. The FCDO has warned that families need to check their passport expiry dates, so they are no more than 10 years old and have at least three months left on them.

The update, issued on October 14, warns: “The rules for travelling to European countries changed on January 1, 2021, British nationals can travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa.

“This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training. Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip, and renew your passport if you do not have enough time left on it.”

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Your passport may not still be valid, even if it looks like it’s still in date. When the UK left the EU last year, a new blue passport with ‘BRITISH PASSPORT’ in capital letters was issued by the government, replacing the red passport we all know and recognise.

Since the middle of 2020, anyone who has renewed their passport or applied for a new one has been issued the new, blue one. However, many people have still been able to use their existing red passports, provided they are in date. But there are now new rules around passports’ expiry dates – they’re now only valid for exactly 10 years.

Any additional months on a red passport (a passport issued before the UK left the EU) are no longer valid.


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Ron Howells

Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!. Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.


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