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Ferry industry reassures jittery holiday-makers: no changes to EU ferry travel requirements throughout 2020

  • 68% of people surveyed expressed uncertainty about travel changes after Jan 31
  • 24% have consciously delayed 2020 holiday decisions
  • 46% of respondents expressed desire for more reassurance on travel requirements

(24 January 2020) With Brexit just one week away, new research for the ferry sector has revealed mass confusion among potential travellers. Industry body Discover Ferries, is seeking to clarify and reassure holiday makers that there will be no change in requirements for people wanting to travel via ferry between the UK and the EU post January 31. This will be the situation for at least the rest of 2020, during the transition period, now the UK government has passed the EU Withdrawal Agreement.

The research* indicates widespread confusion about travel to EU countries and even ferry travel within the British Isles. Of 2,000 survey respondents, 68% admitted they were not sure what changes will apply for travel to EU countries from February 1, 30% said they thought they would need a visa to enter any EU country and almost a fifth (19%) thought they would need a passport to travel to Jersey and Guernsey, which are part of the British Isles. Neither of which is true.

There was similar uncertainty over pet travel. Over a quarter of respondents (27%) said they will need to take extra steps to take their pets abroad, while 44% fear that their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will no longer be valid, which is also untrue

The effect on consumer confidence was also clear in the results. Almost a quarter (24%) of people have been consciously delaying their 2020 holiday plans until after January 31 this year. Almost half (46%), expressed their desire for more reassurance.

“It is clear that there is a lot of confusion around travel to EU countries this year, resulting in many people delaying their holiday plans,” said Emma Batchelor, director of Discover Ferries. “I would therefore like to reassure anyone looking to travel by ferry this year that there are no changes; all valid passports, EHIC cards and pet passports will still be authorised for travel to the EU and there will not be any new requirement for visas to Europe or passports to travel to the British Isles.

“I also encourage the government and the wider travel sector to support the message that nothing changes this year, and that people should book their 2020 summer holiday with confidence,” added Mrs Batchelor.

For further information on travel requirements, visit www.discoverferries.com/FAQs .


*The research for Discover Ferries was carried out online by Markettiers, via Opinion Matters from 20th to 22nd January 2020 amongst a panel resulting in 2004 responses. All research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct (2010) in the UK and ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines. Opinion Matters is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and is fully compliant with the Data Protection Act (1998).