The current regime of the EU-UK relations is governed by the Agreement on Trade and Cooperation. The agreement does not contain a specific chapter dealing with tourism. However, several parts of the agreement contain rules relevant for the smooth functioning of the sector (e.g. visa-free travel for short stays or trade in services). First and foremost, UK no longer has access to the single market and therefore the “four freedoms” ceased to apply, including free movement of services and people.
As a member state, the UK was obliged to transpose into its legislation Directive 2015/2302 on package travel and linked travel arrangements by 1 January 2018. Currently, the customer has the same level of protection in the UK as in the Czech Republic (and in all other member states). The extent to which the current UK legislation will stay in force beyond 31 December 2020 depends on the relevant UK legislative authorities. However, British legislation ensured a very high level of protection for passengers and tourists prior to the adoption of the new directive and is expected to continue to do so.
BREXIT AND CONSUMERS
Will I need a visa for a short trip to the UK?
No, you won’t. If your trip (for tourism purposes only) doesn’t exceed 6 months, you won’t need any visa. If, however, you plan on staying longer, you will have to check the UK immigration laws for third country citizens and apply for relevant visa (see Useful links below).
Can I, as a Czech travel agency, continue to provide services in the UK?
What document do I need when travelling to the UK?
Until 30 September 2021, it is possible to use both passport and identity card. After that, i.e. from 1 October 2021, the entry to the UK will only be allowed with a passport. The passport must be valid for your entire stay in the UK. At the border the UK authorities might ask you for a proof, that you intend to stay in the country only for a short period of time and for the purpose of tourism (e.g. return plane ticket, hotel reservation, etc.).
If I want to go on a trip to the UK with a Czech travel agency, will anything change for me?
The recent departure of the UK from the EU will not affect your customer rights. The Czech travel agency is responsible for the trip. Bankruptcy insurance applies to all customers, irrespective of their place of residence, the place of departure or the place where the tour was sold, and also irrespective of the state of establishment of the insurance company that provides the bankruptcy insurance.
Will I be protected in any way on my flight to or from the UK?
The EU rules on compensation and assistance to passengers (according to the Regulation no. 261/2004) will continue to apply to all flights from the EU to the UK, irrespective of the flight operator, and for the flights from the UK to the EU, which are operated by the EU company. However, the rules won’t apply to flights from the UK to the EU (or to any other third country), which are operated by the UK company.
The Agreement on Trade and Cooperation however contains a guarantee, that both sides will ensure the highest protection of passenger rights possible.
Will I be able to use mobile services in the UK under the same conditions and prices as in the Czech Republic and other EU member states?
No, you won’t. UK is no longer subject to the ban on roaming charges. British mobile operators can charge extra fees for mobile services in the UK. Before you leave for the UK, we recommend that you check the current roaming rules with your mobile operator.
If I get sick or injured during my stay in the UK, will I be able to use my European Health Insurance Card to get treatment?
Yes. During your short stay you will be able to use your valid insurance card to access the necessary state-provided health care. Just to be sure and to cover additional costs of treatment, we recommend to always get commercial travel insurance.
BREXIT AND ENTREPRENEURS
As of 1 January 2021, you are no longer able to take advantage of the cross-border provision of services under Article 56 et seq. TFEU. The automatic recognition of 'Czech' bankruptcy protection also ceased to apply. The recognition will be subject to the decision of the competent authority in the UK.
You will still be able to provide services in the UK, but you will have to follow the rules in the Agreement on Trade and Cooperation relating to the trade in services (Part two – Heading one – Title II – Chapter 3 – Articles SERVIN 3.1 et seq.) and in the UK legislation.
Can employees of Czech travel agencies (travel agents, tour guides) accompany their clients on the tour to the UK, without having to be established there?
Yes, they can, as short-term business visitors (Article SERVIN.4.3). Their stay in the UK cannot exceed 90 days over a 6-month period and they cannot supply services to general public. In the context of the cross-border provision of services, the condition of establishment or residence in the UK does not apply. This includes representatives of management, tour and travel agents and tour guides or tour operators attending conferences or accompanying a trip that has begun in the territory of the Czech Republic.
As a Czech travel agency, I sell tours for a British travel agency. Has something changed for me?
You should notify this fact again to the Ministry of Regional Development. Since the UK has become a third country by withdrawing from the EU, the insolvency of a travel agency can no longer be automatically recognized. You can use the notification form for a travel agency established in the EU or the EEA at https://mmr.cz/cs/ministerstvo/cestovni-ruch/informace-pro-cestovni-kancelare-a-agentury/zprostredkovani-prodeje-zajezdu-pro-ck-usazene-na
You will either prove that you yourself are insured in the event of insolvency for these cases, or prove that the UK travel agency has adequate insolvency protection. The obligations are based on the provisions of Section 9b of Act No. 159/1999 Coll., on certain business conditions and on the performance of certain activities in the field of tourism, as amended.
Embassy of the Czech Republic in London
UK government website with travel and immigration information
Website of the Czech Republic with information about the Agreement on Trade and Cooperation
Website of the European Commission with information about the Agreement on Trade and Cooperation
Notice on travelling between the EU and the UK after the end of transition period
Notice to stakeholders: Withdrawal of the UK and EU rules on consumer protection and passenger rights
Notice to stakeholders: Withdrawal of the UK and EU rules in the field of electronic commerce and net neutrality