Effects of Brexit on border traffic

The United Kingdom has separated from the EU on 1 February 2020. The transition period and free movement will end on 31 December 2020. 

After the transition period, i.e., as of 1 January 2021, the rules applicable to non-EU nationals in border controls will also be applied to UK nationals. Border checks shall ensure that a British national fulfils all the conditions for entry of third-country nationals laid down in the Schengen Borders Code. The United Kingdom's visa waiver will enter into force on 1 January 2021.

Channels and signs

  • UK citizens must use channels for third-country nationals at border crossing points (i.e. “all passports” or “no visa required”). An exception applies for persons who are family members of an EU citizen under the Free Movement Directive. 

Automated border control gate

  • As of 1 January 2021, UK citizens will not be able to make use of automated border control gate as before. 
  • In the future, provisions will be made for the possibility of using automated border checks at Helsinki Airport, as is currently possible for citizens of certain visa-free countries, but this will be announced separately later. The use of automated gates depends on the traffic situation and COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Changes to entry

  • There will be changes and restrictions on the entry of British citizens compared to the previous status of an EU citizen. A British citizen must be prepared for the following on arrival:
    • Visa-free travel from 1 January 2021 for short stay 
    • Conditions of entry of a third-country national and checks to establish the conditions of entry 
    • Stamping of travel documents when entering and leaving the country, excluding those arriving in the country with a residence permit and those covered by the Withdrawal Agreement.

Right of residence under the Withdrawal Agreement

  • The Withdrawal Agreement has safeguarded the status and rights of UK nationals residing in the Member States and their family members under EU law, if they have settled in a Member State before the end of the transitional period and continue to reside in the Member State.

Valid travel documents issued by UK

Travel restrictions / Restriction category changes