Tartan Army warned over 10-year passport rule ahead of travelling for Euros 2024

tartan army
Tartan Army preparing for epic German party. -Credit:DAILY RECORD

Tartan Army members have been warned to check important passport rules ahead of their travels to the Euro 2024.

Football fans have been reminded to ensure their passports meet post-Brexit rules as around 200,000 are expected to head to Germany next month. Scots will descend onto Munich for the national team's opening game in its first major tournament abroad since the World Cup in France in 1998.

With just weeks to go before kick-off, Advice Direct Scotland has said it is vital for fans to ensure their travel documents are in order. UK travellers to the EU were previously able to carry over up to nine months from an old passport onto a new one.

However, tighter entry rules now mean those heading to all countries within the bloc – with the exception of Ireland – must have a passport issued less than 10 years before their arrival date. Additionally, it should be valid for three months from the final day of the trip.

Travellers who do not meet the passport requirements will be denied boarding. Fans are urged to check the date of issue and seek a renewal if necessary. The process should take no longer than three weeks but can exceed this during periods of high demand.

The national advice service has also stressed the importance of travel insurance and knowing your rights if things go wrong ahead of the June 14 tie. Without adequate cover, fans risk being left out of pocket if they need to cancel their trip or face issues such as medical emergencies, theft or damaged belongings while away.

Most travel insurance covers missed flights and expenses to reach a destination. However, the amount able to be claimed varies widely, from £250 to £1,000, and proof is required - meaning it is important to check policies carefully.

Legally, airlines must provide help to passengers when flights are delayed or cancelled, or if they cannot board a flight due to overbooking. This help may include options for a refund or rerouting.

Fans should also ensure they have a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for free emergency medical care. The GHIC replaced the EHIC for UK citizens after Brexit, but travellers can use their EHIC until it expires.

Fans can apply for a GHIC on the official NHS website, but it takes up to 15 working days to receive a new card. Even with travel insurance, GHIC provides extra protection. Those travelling to Germany have also been warned not to buy tickets from touts.

If they are offered tickets outside UEFA's official resale portal, it is likely to be a scam, meaning they risk being left out of pocket and not allowed into the Allianz Arena.

The Allianz is where Scotland will kick the tournament off
Tartan Army footsoldiers having fun during a previous trip to Germany

Hazel Knowles, senior project lead for Advice Direct Scotland, said: “With excitement building for the big tournament in Germany, it is understandable that fans will be looking forward to Steve Clarke’s side kicking off their Euro 2024 campaign. But as thousands make last-minute travel plans, many may not have used their passport in a while. It is vital that they check to ensure it meets all EU requirements so they are not turned away at the airport.

“Recently, some travellers have been caught out by passport rules, meaning they have not been able to go on holiday as planned. Your passport must have been issued in the past 10 years at the time of entering the EU.

“Legally, you are also required to have at least three months left on your passport at the time you plan to exit the EU. We are also encouraging people to make sure they have adequate travel insurance, as well as a valid GHIC if their EHIC has expired.

“When it comes to delayed or cancelled flights, it is important fans know their rights, and anyone confused can reach out to one of advisers at consumeradvice.scot for free advice.”

To get a passport issued urgently, fans can book an appointment at their nearest passport office, subject to availability.

More information is available on the HM Passport Office website at www.gov.uk/passport-advice-line or you can call the helpline on 0300 222 0000.

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