Great Britain

Families warned to check their passports after little known rule could stop them from travelling to Europe

DO NOT PASS

FAMILIES have been warned to check the issue dates on their passports before going on holiday to Europe.

New rules state that to get into Europe, passports must have been issued in the last 10 years.

This means that even if you have `12 months left on a passport, you could be denied entry if the passport has passed the 10-year timeline since it was issued.

And travel experts have warned families to check their passports now as restrictions on overseas travel begins to lift from next month - otherwise they could be caught out.

Families are likely to be keen to head overseas in the next few weeks during school holidays, which will last until the first week of October - just as the travel restrictions change.

Travel expert Simon Calder told BBC Radio 4: "It all goes back to Brexit. If you remember before that when we were in the European Union all the way up to the transition period it was really straightforward."

“If you had a British passport, you could go to the EU and stay in any of those countries up to and including the expiry date.

“But now, your passport has to meet two conditions which the European Union has long had in place for third countries, which is what we are now.”

In October, the red list will be shortened, meaning the number of places where holidaymakers will need to spend 10 days in a quarantine hotel has been slashed.

Tim Alderslade, CEO of Airlines UK, the industry body, said: “This is a positive step which moves us much closer to the reopening of UK aviation and provides greater reassurance to passengers desperate to travel.

"By reducing the number of red list destinations and scrapping PCR testing, ministers have paved the way for people to get away this October half-term and into the winter following 18 months of uncertainty."

Grant Shapps is hopeful that Brits should be able to use £5 supermarket Covid tests when they return from holidays abroad.

That would shave hundreds of pounds off the cost of a family trip compared to the current system which requires expensive PCR swabs.

Mr Shapps said he wants to ease the rules in time for the October half-term break when many Brits are hoping to get away.

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