Hoop jumping

I mentioned briefly in a previous post about the mountain of paperwork we had got together so we could travel to the boat this year, so I though I’d go through the seemingly endless hoops we now have to go through caused by BREXIT and COVID.

Getting a grip of copying with the rules regarding travel under the COVID regulations and advice is actually not too taxing. There are really two strands which we need to look at – the UKs approach to travelling abroad and coming back, and what rules are in place in France and Belgium to allow us in.

The UK has become simple – there are no restrictions in travelling abroad (to green and amber countries), but there are restrictions that kick in when you come back. We are not returning until the beginning of October, so have no clue what will be happening then, so have decided to travel and then comply with whatever is in place then.

BREXIT however is a different kettle of fish – or better still a different lock full of barges! We in the UK are no longer in the EU, nor are we a Schengen country. (I’m deliberately avoiding arguments for and against these decisions). This means, as far as the EU is concerned, we are a ‘third country’. As such we are restricted to traveling for tourism to 90 days in every rolling 180 days. Our plan when building Anticus was to spend the summer months (6 or 7 in total) cruising the waterways of Europe (well actually mainly France). So we obviously needed to find a way around the 90/180 day restriction. France to the rescue. They have available on application a 6 month tourist visa, and this mound of paper is our application for the precious visa.

Paperwork for a French visa

It doesn’t stop there though! We have to get additional travel insurance because the EHIC is now not comprehensive enough, we have to get a certificate to allow Alfie, our border terrier across the Channel with us, and we also need a green card to get the car across. I’m not even going to mention the £300 this has cost us (oops too late) but the mound of paperwork seems quite onerous. BREXIT huh? The gift that keeps giving.

See you next time – hopefully from a boat somewhere in Belgium !


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