The government is taking out a massive advertising campaign to warn Brits about hurdles to their holidays after Brexit.
Citizens are being warned to get “comprehensive” travel insurance and check they’re not hit with mobile roaming charges if visiting the EU from January.
Meanwhile, pet owners are being warned they have to go to the vet four months before trying to take their animal on a trip to Europe.
Currently trips to the EU have guaranteed zero roaming charges and a much less stringent “pet passport” – but those deals will end on December 31.
Travel insurance will also become more important as free healthcare for UK citizens in some EU countries ends. Insurance would also protect people from any travel disruption.
The government has unveiled the upbeat set of adverts entitled “UK’S NEW START, LET’S GET GOING.”
The TV, radio, digital and print adverts include a chirpy traffic-light tick box system entitled “Check, Change, Go.”
People will be asked to check a single information website, gov.uk/transition, which outlines what happens when the transition period ends on December 31.
Holidaymakers will also be told to ensure their passport is valid.
Currently, UK nationals can travel in the EU up to the day their passport expires, but after December they are advised to have six months left on the clock.
And business owners will be told to register with customs authorities and get an EORI number to be able to import or export to or from the EU.
There will also be a “field force team” to give one-to-one support to firms to minimise disruption, the Cabinet Office said.
A government official refused to disclose the budget for the campaign, instead saying monthly costs will be disclosed in transparency papers at a later date.
Neither the main billboard advert nor the government’s 800-word press release on it mention the word “Brexit”.
But they refer to the direct consequences of leaving the EU – and come as the odds of striking a UK-EU trade deal look slimmer by the day.
Boris Johnson refused to extend the transition period, despite an EU offer to do so for two years.
That means the UK will leave EU rules on December 31 whether or not a trade deal is in place.
Trade deal talks are intensifying through July and August. But both sides have warned there are still major differences.
Meanwhile, a leaked letter from Trade Secretary Liz Truss last week warned the UK’s planned border policy was vulnerable to smuggling and legal challenge.
Cabinet Office minister Mr Gove claimed the ad campaign will help people “hit the ground running as a fully independent United Kingdom.”
He added: “This is a new start for everyone in the UK – British and European citizens alike – so let’s get going.”
Mr Gove also confirmed the UK will spend £700million in just a few months on setting up new bureaucracy at our border after Brexit.
New infrastructure, staff and technology will be rushed into being in time for January to ‘ensure compliance’ with a new trading regime.
The government snapped up a 27-acre site in Ashford, Kent, as a “holding station for lorries” if the port of Dover is jammed up.
Damian Green, the area’s MP, told KentOnline “it could mean several thousand lorries being stored on the site”, which “would be hugely disruptive for everyone in the area”.
Yet Mr Gove claimed: “It’s not the intention to create a massive concrete lorry park.”