Brexit - Travel between the UK and Spain | Alicante Airport
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Brexit – Travel between the UK and Spain

Since the end of the Brexit transition period, new rules have come into force for travel between the UK and Alicante Airport in Spain. We have summarised some of the changes for you below.

Travel Documentation after Brexit


You will need a passport to be able to travel between the UK and Spain. National ID cards are no longer accepted. It is important to check the age and expiry date of your passport to ensure that it is valid for travel. Your passport has to meet two criteria:

  • Your passport needs to be valid for 3 months or more after the day you leave Spain. Please check the expiry date of your passport.


  • Your passport needs to be less than 10 years old when you travel to Alicante. This is calculated from the date of issue.


Please note:

  • If your passport was renewed early, some additional months may have been added to its expiry date. Your passport may therefore still be valid for 3 months on the day of your return from Alicante, but may already be more than 10 years old from the date of issue. Please check in good time before you travel that your passport fulfils both criteria.
  • If you need to renew your passport, please see here.

Please be aware:

The above criteria are based on the information provided by the European Union and the UK Government. Some airlines and tour operators may ask for your passport to be valid for at least 6 more months at the time of travel. Please double-check your airline’s requirements.

You can find more on this in our article “Are your travel documents ready for your holiday?


You may not need a visa for travel between the UK and Spain after Brexit. If you visit Spain as a tourist, a visa is not needed for short trips. You can stay up to 90 days in any 180-day period. However, if you are also visiting other EU countries, you will need to check that you do not spend more than 90 days in total across all the countries you visit, in any given 180-day period. Different rules apply for business travel and longer stays.

Please note:

When visiting Alicante as a tourist, do check that your passport has been stamped when you enter and leave Spain. This is important, as border guards will use the stamps in your passport to check that you are complying with the 90-day rule (see above).

Please see here for information about ETIAS and EES – new procedures and systems that are due to be introduced in 2024.


You may have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). These cards can give you access to state health care in Spain at a reduced cost or for free. Both of these are valid if you are travelling to Spain.

You can continue to use your EHIC until the expiry date written on the card. Once it expires, if you are a UK citizen, you will need to apply for a GHIC to replace it. Please note that GHIC and EHIC do not replace travel insurance. For more information on this topic, please also see our page “Travel Insurance“.

Mobile Roaming after Brexit

Sadly, the days of guaranteed free mobile roaming are over. You will need to check with your mobile phone operator to find out whether you will be charged a roaming fee in Spain. However, a new law has come into force that ensures that you will need to be notified once your roaming charges have reached £45. This will safeguard you from inadvertently spending large sums of money on mobile roaming without realising.

Taking Food from the UK to Spain

The import/export of food items is now tightly controlled. This applies even to small quantities of food you might wish to take for personal use during your journey or on your holiday. You can no longer take the following with you:

  • meat or products containing meat
  • milk or dairy products
  • fresh fruit and vegetables

There are some exceptions to this rule – you are allowed to bring certain amounts of the following:

  • powdered infant milk
  • infant food
  • special food for the dietary management of a diagnosed disease, disorder or medical condition
  • pet food required for medical reasons

For more information on these rules, please also see the European Commission website.

Duty-Free Shopping Opportunities / VAT Refund

Visitors to the EU who are travelling back outside of the EU may be tax-exempt. At the Alicante Airport Duty-Free store, look for items with green labels that state ‘only for passengers travelling outside the EU’. You will need to show ID and a boarding pass for a flight bound outside the EU. Please see our Duty-Free page for details on shopping opportunities at Alicante Airport and duty-free allowances for your travel back to Great Britain.

If you have been shopping in Alicante or elsewhere in Spain, you may be eligible for a VAT refund. For more information on this, please see our page VAT Refund at Alicante Airport.

Travelling with Your Pet

Travelling with your pet from the UK to Alicante Airport has become a little bit more complicated following Brexit. While it is still possible to bring your dog, cat, or ferret with you, this will take some preparation. Your pet will need the following documentation:

  • An animal health certificate, which must be signed by a licensed veterinarian and written in Spanish.
  • A declaration certifying that you are adhering to the conditions of travel for your pet.
  • Both of the above must be in accordance with the European Union’s models. Please see here for a sample health certificate and declaration.
  • A certified copy of the animal’s identification and vaccination information.

In addition to the above, your pet must be:

  • Microchipped or tattooed (if this was done before 3 July 2011).
  • Vaccinated against rabies with a vaccine that is valid at the time of the trip.

It is not necessary to perform an antibody titration test against rabies.

 Please see here for information on bringing a pet to Great Britain.

For more information about flying with pets, please also see our page “Pets at Alicante Airport“.

Your Brexit Travel Checklist

 Don’t forget to…
✔️Check the age of your passport and its expiry date
✔️Take your EHIC / GHIC
✔️Decide whether you need travel insurance
✔️Check roaming charges with your mobile phone operator
✔️Check if you are eligible for a VAT refund
Brexit travel checklist

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