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Britons told to begin paperwork in September if they plan to travel with pets in 2021

Britons told to begin paperwork in September if they plan to travel with pets in 2021

Britons have been told that they must start the paperwork for taking pets abroad on 1 September 2020 at the latest if they plan to travel on 1 January 2021.

During the Brexit transition period, Britons can continue to use the existing Pet Passport system to travel with their pets.

However, new processes could be introduced after the transition period ends on 31 December 2020, which could render the current documents invalid.

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The changes will affect domestic pets as well as service animals.

A statement from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs said: "The UK government is working with the European Commission to ensure a similar arrangement for pet travel between Great Britain and the EU from 1 January 2021.

"However, if an agreement is not reached there could be new requirements in place for those travelling with a pet from Great Britain to the EU from 1 January 2021.

"If pet owners are planning to travel from January 2021 onwards then they should contact their vet at least four months in advance of their travel date to discuss the latest requirements, including the documentation and vaccinations needed.

"For example, those wishing to travel with their pet from Great Britain to the EU on 1 January 2021 should discuss the relevant documentation their vet by 1 September at the latest."

To further confuse the situation, it's not entirely clear what paperwork is needed at the moment.

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Winners of National Geographic Travel Photo Contest

1/11 Grand prize winner and 1st place: Cities

"Upernavik is a fishing village on a tiny island in west Greenland. Historically, Greenlandic buildings were painted different colors to indicate different functions, from red storefronts to blue fishermen’s homes—a useful distinction when the landscape is blanketed in snow. This photo was taken during my three-month, personal photo project to present life in Greenland."

Chu Weimin

2/11 1st place: Nature

"A gorgeous griffon vulture is seen soaring the skies in Monfrague National Park in Spain. How can anyone say vultures bring bad omens when looking at such tenderness in this griffon vulture's eyes? Vultures are important members of the environment, as they take care of recycling dead matter. Vultures are noble and majestic animals—kings of the skies. When looking at them flying, we should feel humbled and admire them."

Tamara Blazquez Haik

3/11 2nd place: Cities

"There are four runways at San Francisco's International Airport (SFO). This is a rare look at the approach end of runways 28 left and right. I had dreams of documenting the motion at SFO and arranged permission to fly directly overhead. What a windy day it was. Winds at SFO were 35-45 miles per hour, which meant a bumpy flight, and it was much harder to control the plane while photographing. The flight was challenging, but it was also so thrilling that I couldn't sleep for several days afterward."

Jassen Todorov

4/11 Honourable mention: People

"I captured this layered moment during sunrise along the banks of the Yamuna River in Delhi, India. This boy was thinking silently, and visitors were enjoying the loud musical chirping of thousands of seagulls. The early morning golden light from the east mixed with the western blue light, creating an ethereal atmosphere. I am a regular visitor here and have photographed this place for the past three years. Now, many national and international photographers have begun visiting too."

Navin Vatsa

5/11 Honourable mention: Nature

"A herd of ibex in Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland cross a ridge above Lake Brienz. Their powerful and impressive horns show who the king of the Alps are. Ibex are ideally adapted to live at dizzying heights. The continuing ridge path and the rising fog show the natural habitat of these animals. After a few hours of observing the animals, I spotted the ibex herd on one side of the ridge. Several ibex stopped at the transition to view the world around them."

Jonas Schafer

6/11 3rd place: People

"Every year on the feast of Saint Anthony the ceremony of the purification of animals, called Las Luminarias, is celebrated in Spain. In the province of Avila, horses and horsemen jump over bonfires in the ritual that has been maintained since the 18th century. The animals are not hurt, and it is a ritual that is repeated every year. To make the photo, I moved from Seville to San Bartolomé de Pinares because I am very interested in photographing ancestral rites."

Jose Antonio Zamora

7/11 2nd place: People

"This photo was taken at a public park at Choi Hung House in Hong Kong. When I visited during the afternoon, it was very crowded with many young people taking pictures and playing basketball. But when I visited at sunrise, it was quiet and a different place. The area is designated for neighborhood residents in the early morning, and there was a sacred atmosphere. I felt divinity when I saw an old man doing tai chi in the sun."

Yoshiki Fujiwara

8/11 3rd place: Nature

"Dusky dolphins often travel together in great numbers in the deep canyons of the Kaikoura, New Zealand in search of food. They glide through the ocean effortlessly, coming up only to breathe. Dusky dolphins are fast and will often keep pace with a speeding boat. I waited on the bow of the boat as the Dusky dolphin almost broke through the surface. Their elegance and streamlined bodies are built for speed and maneuverability—accentuated by the smooth, clear water of the New Zealand coastline."

Scott Portelli

9/11 2nd place: Nature

"What happens before a wave breaks? That question has been my assignment this past year. On this particular day, I decided to shoot the sunset on the east side of Oahu, Hawaii. About 100 photographers were out in the morning, but I had the evening to myself. The textures from the trade winds created subtle colors from the west and blended well using my 100mm lens. I had to look into my viewfinder while this wave was breaking. Not an easy task when a wave is about to crush you."

Danny Sepkowski

10/11 1st place: People

"Actors prepare for an evening opera performance in Licheng County, China. I spent the whole day with these actors from makeup to stage. I’m a freelance photographer, and the series “Cave Life" is a long-term project of mine. In China's Loess Plateau, local residents dig holes in the loess layer to create cave living spaces, known as yaodongs, and use the heat preservation properties to survive cold winters. This series mainly records the life, entertainment, belief, labor, and other daily scenes of the people living in the caves."

Huaifeng Li

11/11 3rd place: Cities

"People pray on the street in Dhaka, Bangladesh during Ijtema. Bishwa Ijtema is one of the major Islamic religious gatherings which is observed annually in Dhaka and millions of Muslims visit during this time. Dedicated prayer grounds are not large enough to handle this huge number of people, so large numbers of people come to Tongi, the main street of Dhaka. All the ground transportation and pedestrian crossings are suspended during that time."

Sandipani Chattopadhyay

1/11 Grand prize winner and 1st place: Cities

"Upernavik is a fishing village on a tiny island in west Greenland. Historically, Greenlandic buildings were painted different colors to indicate different functions, from red storefronts to blue fishermen’s homes—a useful distinction when the landscape is blanketed in snow. This photo was taken during my three-month, personal photo project to present life in Greenland."

Chu Weimin

2/11 1st place: Nature

"A gorgeous griffon vulture is seen soaring the skies in Monfrague National Park in Spain. How can anyone say vultures bring bad omens when looking at such tenderness in this griffon vulture's eyes? Vultures are important members of the environment, as they take care of recycling dead matter. Vultures are noble and majestic animals—kings of the skies. When looking at them flying, we should feel humbled and admire them."

Tamara Blazquez Haik

3/11 2nd place: Cities

"There are four runways at San Francisco's International Airport (SFO). This is a rare look at the approach end of runways 28 left and right. I had dreams of documenting the motion at SFO and arranged permission to fly directly overhead. What a windy day it was. Winds at SFO were 35-45 miles per hour, which meant a bumpy flight, and it was much harder to control the plane while photographing. The flight was challenging, but it was also so thrilling that I couldn't sleep for several days afterward."

Jassen Todorov

4/11 Honourable mention: People

"I captured this layered moment during sunrise along the banks of the Yamuna River in Delhi, India. This boy was thinking silently, and visitors were enjoying the loud musical chirping of thousands of seagulls. The early morning golden light from the east mixed with the western blue light, creating an ethereal atmosphere. I am a regular visitor here and have photographed this place for the past three years. Now, many national and international photographers have begun visiting too."

Navin Vatsa

5/11 Honourable mention: Nature

"A herd of ibex in Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland cross a ridge above Lake Brienz. Their powerful and impressive horns show who the king of the Alps are. Ibex are ideally adapted to live at dizzying heights. The continuing ridge path and the rising fog show the natural habitat of these animals. After a few hours of observing the animals, I spotted the ibex herd on one side of the ridge. Several ibex stopped at the transition to view the world around them."

Jonas Schafer

6/11 3rd place: People

"Every year on the feast of Saint Anthony the ceremony of the purification of animals, called Las Luminarias, is celebrated in Spain. In the province of Avila, horses and horsemen jump over bonfires in the ritual that has been maintained since the 18th century. The animals are not hurt, and it is a ritual that is repeated every year. To make the photo, I moved from Seville to San Bartolomé de Pinares because I am very interested in photographing ancestral rites."

Jose Antonio Zamora

7/11 2nd place: People

"This photo was taken at a public park at Choi Hung House in Hong Kong. When I visited during the afternoon, it was very crowded with many young people taking pictures and playing basketball. But when I visited at sunrise, it was quiet and a different place. The area is designated for neighborhood residents in the early morning, and there was a sacred atmosphere. I felt divinity when I saw an old man doing tai chi in the sun."

Yoshiki Fujiwara

8/11 3rd place: Nature

"Dusky dolphins often travel together in great numbers in the deep canyons of the Kaikoura, New Zealand in search of food. They glide through the ocean effortlessly, coming up only to breathe. Dusky dolphins are fast and will often keep pace with a speeding boat. I waited on the bow of the boat as the Dusky dolphin almost broke through the surface. Their elegance and streamlined bodies are built for speed and maneuverability—accentuated by the smooth, clear water of the New Zealand coastline."

Scott Portelli

9/11 2nd place: Nature

"What happens before a wave breaks? That question has been my assignment this past year. On this particular day, I decided to shoot the sunset on the east side of Oahu, Hawaii. About 100 photographers were out in the morning, but I had the evening to myself. The textures from the trade winds created subtle colors from the west and blended well using my 100mm lens. I had to look into my viewfinder while this wave was breaking. Not an easy task when a wave is about to crush you."

Danny Sepkowski

10/11 1st place: People

"Actors prepare for an evening opera performance in Licheng County, China. I spent the whole day with these actors from makeup to stage. I’m a freelance photographer, and the series “Cave Life" is a long-term project of mine. In China's Loess Plateau, local residents dig holes in the loess layer to create cave living spaces, known as yaodongs, and use the heat preservation properties to survive cold winters. This series mainly records the life, entertainment, belief, labor, and other daily scenes of the people living in the caves."

Huaifeng Li

11/11 3rd place: Cities

"People pray on the street in Dhaka, Bangladesh during Ijtema. Bishwa Ijtema is one of the major Islamic religious gatherings which is observed annually in Dhaka and millions of Muslims visit during this time. Dedicated prayer grounds are not large enough to handle this huge number of people, so large numbers of people come to Tongi, the main street of Dhaka. All the ground transportation and pedestrian crossings are suspended during that time."

Sandipani Chattopadhyay

Great Britain – which includes England, Scotland and Wales – will become a "third country" from 1 January 2021. Under EU law, a third country is "a country that is not a member of the European Union as well as a country or territory whose citizens do not enjoy the European Union right to free movement."

There are three different categories of third country under the current EU Pet Travel Scheme: unlisted, Part 1 listed, Part 2 listed. The rules and regulations applicable to each category is different.

The UK government has applied to be a listed country, but at present it's not clear which category Great Britain will fall into.

Pet owners are advised to check the latest pet travel advice before they travel.

Once the Brexit transition period ends, a number of changes will come into effect, which could increase the cost and amount of red tape travellers have to face to enter EU countries.

The European Health Insurance Card (Ehic) scheme, for example, looks like it will not continue for Britons, which would mean higher travel insurance costs for many travellers.

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