Foreign Office’s new travel health warning for tourists – ‘travel to Europe is different’

Martin Lewis says travel insurance cannot cover for COVID-19

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Every UK citizen must purchase health insurance when travelling to Europe, the new guidelines say. Even after Brexit, the European Health Insurance Card is still valid but Britons must take action after it expires.

The European Health Insurance Card covers state healthcare within the EU. The card would not cover private health treatment.

With the card, British tourists can get emergency or necessary medical care at the same price as residents in the country they’re visiting.

Every card within its expiry date is still valid, despite the UK having left the EU. However, once it expires, Brits must replace the card with a Global Health Insurance Card.

British tourists can get a Global Health Insurance Card by entering their details on the NHS website free of charge.

The Government has warned British travellers that they “should still get travel insurance that covers you for healthcare” even if they have a Global or European Health Insurance Card.

Health Insurance Cards will not cover certain incidents such as if a tourist needs to be flown back to the UK so it is important to purchase health insurance.

A Foreign Office tweet said: “Remember that the EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance.

“It will not cover any private medical healthcare or costs, such as mountain rescue in ski resorts, being flown back to the UK,or lost or stolen property.”

The EHIC or GHIC is not valid on cruises. It is also not accepted on the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Monaco.

Before buying travel insurance, the Government advised tourists to check that the cover is exactly what they need.

Every tourist should check the level of healthcare cover included and the terms and conditions.

They should also make sure they check if the insurance includes any travel disruption in its cover.

The NHS has warned tourists to check they are using the official NHS website before entering any details.

Various scam phishing websites have tried to dupe tourists into handing over personal information in the past.

The NHS has also advised that new applications are taking longer than usual due to increased demand.

Anyone who hasn’t received the document before travelling should apply for a Provisional Replacement Certificate.

Medically necessary healthcare covered by the EHIC and GHIC means treatment that can’t wait until the tourist returns to the UK.

This could include emergency treatment at A&E or routine maternity care as long as the person hasn’t travelled abroad to give birth.

The cost of Covid quarantine hotels is not covered by the EHIC and GHIC as the UK considers the hotels a public health measure.

However, if someone needs medical treatment while staying at a quarantine hotel, that would be covered by the card.

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