Press Advisories

10. 7. 2009 13:30

Travelling in Europe in 2009

Documents you will need
Czech citizens travelling to other EU countries require a valid passport or identity card. These documents should be valid for at least the period they plan to stay outside the Czech Republic.
ID cards may be used as a travel document for the holder only. Parents travelling solely on the basis of an identity card who are accompanied by a child are strongly recommended to arrange for the child to have its own passport, even if that child is entered in the parent’s identity card.
Children registered in their parent’s valid passport may cross the border in the company of the parent in whose passport they are entered without the need for their own travel document. Children entered in their parent’s passport before 1 September 2006 may travel in this manner up to the age of 15 years; children entered in their parent’s passport in the period after 1 March 2008 may travel in this manner up to 10 years of age (between 1 September 2006 and 29 February 2008 the law did not permit children to be registered in their parents’ passports).
Loss of a travel document should be reported to the nearest Czech embassy or consulate, which will issue an emergency travel document (ETD) enabling the person who lost the travel document to return home. An ETD may be used for a single journey to the Czech Republic.
The euro (€) is legal tender in 16 EU countries.
Withdrawing money
Thanks to EU rules, withdrawing cash from an ATM, making card payments or arranging a bank transfer in euros (up to €50,000) costs you the same anywhere in the EU as it would cost you in your own country. These rules also apply to transactions involving euro accounts in countries outside the euro area and to payments in Swedish krona.
Carrying cash
You may enter or leave the EU with up to €10,000 in cash without declaring it. Any larger amount of cash must be declared to the customs authorities.
Travelling by car
Driving licences
A valid driving licence issued in an EU Member State is valid throughout the EU. In some countries, in addition to carrying a valid driving licence, you will need to have your vehicle registration certificate with you.
Motor insurance
When travelling within the EU, your car insurance policy will automatically provide third-party liability in other countries. This also applies to Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. If you have comprehensive insurance, check whether the insurance cover extends to travelling in other countries.
The green card is not obligatory when travelling in the EU, but it serves as an internationally recognized proof of insurance and makes it easier to settle claims arising from an accident. If you do not take a green card with you, you should carry proof of motor insurance.
Tolls are payable in many countries, including the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Ireland, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Austria, Greece, Slovakia, the United Kingdom and Spain. In some countries (Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia), the payment of tolls is by “vignette”, which must be affixed to the windscreen.
Health care
As an EU national, you can receive free or reduced-cost health care if you are taken ill when travelling. In some countries, treatment is free, in some you pay part of the cost, and in others you have to pay the full cost and then claim a refund. So keep all your bills, prescriptions and receipts.
A European Health Insurance Card simplifies procedures, cuts red tape and speeds up the reimbursement of costs. If you do not have this card, ask for one at the local branch of your health insurance company. Some countries incorporate the European card on the reverse side of the national card, others issue separate cards.
Travel insurance
Consider the possibility of taking out travel insurance, as only some EU countries pay the full cost of medical treatment. Illness or an accident abroad may mean extra transport, accommodation and repatriation costs, and it is therefore a good idea to be insured for such cases.
Take your prescription with you if you are using prescribed medicines. Take only the quantities of medicines needed for your personal use, as large quantities can create suspicion.
Travelling with pets is now much easier with the new EU pet passport, available from any vet. All dogs and cats must have a passport containing details of a valid rabies vaccination. Until 30 June 2010, Ireland, Malta, Sweden and United Kingdom also require proof that the vaccination has been effective.
Animals must be identified by an electronic microchip. This is already required in Ireland, Malta and the United Kingdom; elsewhere, a clearly readable tattoo is acceptable for identification purposes until July 2011.
If things go wrong
Single European emergency number: 112
In case of emergency, wherever you are in the EU (except in parts of Bulgaria for the time being), dial 112 from the nearest landline phone or from a mobile free of charge.
Practical information on travel can be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and on the Gateway to the European Union.

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