Brits could be BANNED from EUROPEAN holidays from New Year under Covid TRAVEL RULES

The UK’s Brexit transition period with the EU ends on December 31 and after that, Brits will no longer have automatic free travel among member states. 

As the EU is currently only allowing essential travel from non-EU countries with low Covid infection rates, Brits could see themselves barred from holidays on the continent. 

Just eight non-EU countries are deemed ‘safe’ enough for tourists to be allowed in, The Financial Times reports.

But only travellers from eight of these countries are currently allowed into the EU, and EU officials told The Financial Times that there are no plans to add the UK to this list of safe countries.

Australia, New Zealand and Singapore are among the countries on the EU’s safe list.

Only 12 EU countries allow entry from travellers from all eight nations on the bloc’s safe list.

Norway, which is not an EU member, has already said it will block Brits from entering from January 1.

Brits could be allowed to visit EU countries if the bloc relaxes the rules before January 1, or if individual member states decide to waive the rules.

A spokesman for travel trade organisation ABTA said: “The EU has sought to adopt a common approach to travel restrictions, but this is only a recommendation and individual countries are able to implement their own measures, including options like travel corridors and testing.

“It is too early to say what restrictions might be in place on January 1 given the uncertain nature of the pandemic, but we know that UK travellers are hugely important to a number of EU destinations, including some winter sun favourites like the Canary Islands and Madeira.”

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab acknowledged there could be disruption to travel across Europe and Brits will be at the whim of what “the EU decides”. 

Mr Raab told BBC Radio 4: “Covid restrictions will depend on the combination of what the EU decides, but also member states.

“We have already got challenges with that and we have put our own restrictions in place.”

Mr Raab added: “I’m afraid restriction on travel, inevitably, is going to be something that is kept under review.”

PASSPORT DEADLINE: Meanwhile, passengers could also be barred from entering EU countries from January 1 unless they renew their passports.

Tourists heading to Europe will need at least six months remaining on their travel documents under rules set to be introduced at the end of the Brexit transition period.

Brits have previously been able to travel freely in the EU and the Schengen area with a valid passport, regardless of how close it is to its expiry date.