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BREXIT

Swiss and EU nationals face new ID rule for travel to UK

Swiss and EU nationals have been warned that the rules to enter the UK will change at the end of the month, with ID cards will no longer be accepted at the border.

A Swiss passport will be necessary to visit the UK from October. Photo by Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash
A Swiss passport will be necessary to visit the UK from October. Photo by Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash

Nationals of EU countries as well as Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will no longer be able to use their country’s national identity cards as a means of entry into the UK from the end of September.

From October 1st 2021 onwards travellers will only be able to enter the UK using their passport – previously travellers who had citizenship of EU countries could use their national ID card instead.

Under EU rules, citizens of member states that issue national identity cards, can use them for travel within the EU and Schengen area instead of a passport.

This was the case for travel to the UK when it was part of the EU. The change in rule in October is as a result of Brexit.

In general far fewer people own passports in these EU countries compared to national identity cards, which are obligatory in some European countries. 

But the change of rule for travel to the UK may force many to apply for passports.

However there will be some exceptions.

The Home Office states that these nationals can continue to use national ID card to enter the UK until at least December 31st 2025 if they:

  • have settled or pre-settled status under the UK’s EU Settlement Scheme
  • have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme but not yet received a decision
  • have an EU Settlement Scheme family permit
  • have a frontier worker permit
  • are an S2 Healthcare Visitor
  • are a Swiss Service Provider

Travellers will need to have the appropriate documents to prove the above status at the UK border.

Irish citizens can continue to use a passport card to travel to the UK.

EU travellers do not need a visa for short trips to the UK.

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For members

TRAVEL NEWS

SWISS pilots threaten an October strike action

The Swiss pilots’ union could go on strike during Switzerland’s busy autumn holiday period.

SWISS pilots threaten an October strike action

The union, Aeropers, which has been negotiating salary increases and improved working conditions with Switzerland’s national airline, has rejected the carrier’s latest collective labour agreement (CLA) and is threatening to go on strike.

The  (CLA) is a kind of contract that is negotiated between Switzerland’s trade unions and employers or employer organisations. Generally speaking, they cover a minimum wage for each type of work; regulations relating to work hours; payment of wages in the event of illness or maternity; vacation and days off; and protection against dismissal.

READ MORE : What is a Swiss collective bargaining agreement — and how could it benefit you?

The pilots said they would cease flying on October 17th, which falls in the middle of school holidays in a number of cantons — the period when many families holiday abroad.

“SWISS has not sufficiently entered into the matter of the legitimate interests of its pilots”, Aeropers said, adding that if the airline doesn’t come up with a better offer, the union “will initiate the procedures for a strike”.

For its part, SWISS said in a press release that it offered its pilots 60 million francs more than on the previous CLA, but “Aeropers executive committee has rejected this latest offer as inadequate, and has made demands of its own totalling over 200 million”.

However, Aeropers head Thomas Steffen has denied SWISS’ claim saying the 200-million figure is “a fantasy number” that has no basis whatsoever. According to Steffen, the pilots’ demand was “significantly less than half of this sum”.

He went on to accuse the airline of “propaganda” at the detriment of its employees”.

He added that the strike would me a last-resort measure if the dispute on pay, which has been going on for a year, is not resolved within a month.

“We’ve negotiated for a year and made sure that our members are level-headed and fly safely and reliably, despite being without a contract,” Steffen said.

If the SWISS cockpit staff, which also includes its sister airline, Edelweiss, does go on strike, it will be the latest labour dispute in Europe’s aviation, which includes a strike by Lufthansa ground crew, which impacted Switzerland over the summer.

However, strikes by Swiss workers is relatively uncommon compared to other countries.

READ MORE: Why are strikes so rare in Switzerland?

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