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Simon Calder issues urgent passport warning for Britons

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Simon Calder has warned British tourists to check the dates on their passport as post-Brexit rules mean many people could be caught out.

The travel expert told BBC News: “Until Brexit, it was very easy. You had a British passport that was valid up to and including the expiry date.

“After the democratic vote to leave the EU, the Government negotiated on our behalf to become third country nationals.

“That’s the same status as people from Venezuela or Samoa or Macau. Anyway that then brings into play existing European Union rules which means that the issue date of your passport suddenly becomes relevant.

“So if your passport was issued more than 10 years ago, then you’re not getting into the European Union.

“And of course, Britain had this very welcome situation. They gave you credit for unspent time.

“That absolutely wasn’t a problem when we were in the EU. But now sadly it is. And every day I hear from people who have been turned away at the departure gate because they simply didn’t realise it.

“They thought ‘well we’ve got six months left on our passport. That shouldn’t be a problem’. Until they find out too late that it is, they lose the money for their holiday and of course the travel insurer isn’t going to be interested. It’s always your responsibility to be compliant.”

People can be turned away from their holiday if their passport was issued more than 10 years ago.

Simon added: “I’ve been doing all I can to persuade the airlines (to warn people). Of course if you’ve got a good human travel agent they will alert you to any possible problems.

“The airlines do ask for information but they’re not doing it to check that you’re compliant. All they’re doing is checking your identity details.”

This means that some people’s passports may be accepted at the point of online booking but are not compliant with EU rules.

Simon warned: “Please go and check your passport expiry. If it’s over 10 years old or you haven’t got three months before the expiry when you plan to leave the European Union, you have a problem.”

However, these rules only apply to the EU and Simon said tourists can still go to other destinations such as Tunisia, USA and Canada up to their passport expiry date.

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