5 million Britishers were warned to submit their passport renewal last week so they can travel in Europe in case of a no-deal Brexit.
After Britain leaves the EU on March 29, people will be needing at least 6 months left on their passport starting from the date they arrive on the continent.
Without it, they would possibly be stopped from traveling in Europe or turned back from the EU countries including Spain, France, Greece, Italy, and Portugal.
This is because the passports must have at least 6 months validity on them on the day of travel, according to Schengen rules. This rule relates to around 2 million Britons.
However, the British Government has recently warned that a further 1.5 million people having up to 15 months validity on their passports could also be stopped from traveling.
So, these 3.5 million people were told to renew their passports by Friday, March 8, otherwise, they could be facing traveling restrictions by March 29.
The British consumer group Which? reported why the people were told to renew their passports.
According to the group, it takes three weeks for passports to arrive after a renewal application and Friday will be three weeks before the UK withdraws from the EU, hence the 3.5 million people were warned to renew by Friday.
‘Millions of people could find their holiday plans disrupted or, worse yet, find themselves stranded at the departure gate and prevented from traveling altogether if they fail to renew their passport before the cut-off date,’ said Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel magazine.
‘Anyone who thinks they might be affected should look to renew their passport today or if you already have travel plans in the near future, consider using the fast-track passport renewal service.’
Following Brexit, the EU countries will face problems while undertaking new immigration checks which will likely cause delays at airports.
Mr Boland said: ‘Airports can be chaotic at the best of times, but if additional checks at passport control in Spain, Italy and other popular EU destinations are implemented in the event of a no-deal, it seems that very long queues are going to be an unwanted side effect.
‘Until there is a deal or these airports announce simpler arrangements, you should consider what you may need if you have to fly to them – as it is very likely that you’ll be in a queue for several hours. Make sure you have food, water and essentials for kids like nappies to hand.’
A spokesman for Home Office said: ‘If there is no deal, new rules would apply when traveling on a British passport to many European countries and some people may need to renew their passport earlier than planned.
‘If your passport does not meet the new rules, you should apply for a new passport before traveling to the countries affected.
‘You can use the Government’s online passport checker to check a passport for travel to Europe. We recommend that you renew your passport in good time ahead of your travel date.
‘In January we launched our ongoing campaign to inform the public of these new rules, and we continue to work with partners in the travel and transport industries to inform people with bookings after 29 March 2019.’
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