With the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union after 31 December 2020, surcharge-free roaming is no longer guaranteed when you travel to EU and EEA countries.
This means that it will be up to each UK mobile phone network operator to decide what (if any) roaming fees will be charged for calls, texts and mobile data usage while travelling within Europe.
Roaming charges are the extra cost that you pay when using your mobile phone abroad to make calls, send SMS texts messages, and use mobile data. These extra roaming charges were banned by the EU under the "Roam Like at Home" initiative within European member states.
Now with the UK no longer a member of the EU, you will need to check with your mobile network provider to find out about any roaming charges that will apply from 1 January 2021.
Many UK mobile networks have so far stated that they have no immediate plans to change their existing mobile roaming policies, but this could change in the future.
The UK government has issued legislation to protect consumers from unexpected charges by requiring mobile phone providers to apply a spending limit on mobile data usage while abroad for customers. These include:
- A charge limit of £45 per month for mobile data while EU roaming, unless you opt out of this limit.
- Alerts from network providers to consumers when they reach 80% and 100% of their data allowance.
Before traveling abroad, you should always check your mobile network's latest roaming policies, tariffs and allowances.