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STM Events : Visit UK : Practical Information : Medical information

Medical information

Medical insurance

Before travelling, you should always arrange travel insurance that includes adequate health cover. Otherwise you may have to pay medical costs if you become ill or have an accident.

If you have been diagnosed with an ongoing medical condition, you must always tell your travel insurer, as this may affect the cover given by your policy.

Bringing medicine into the UK

If you want to bring medicine into the UK, first check that it is licensed for use. Always carry medicines in a correctly labelled container as issued by the pharmacist.

Otherwise, bring a letter from your doctor or a personal health record card giving details of the drug prescribed, in case it is queried by customs or you require additional supplies. Remember that some medicines available over-the-counter in other countries may be controlled in Britain, and vice versa.

For further information please visit HM Customs and Excise Advice Centre website or contact them on +44 (0)20 8929 0152.

Pharmacies & chemists

In Britain you can obtain prescription, and over-the-counter (non-prescription), medications as well as expert medical advice at pharmacies - often called chemists. We recommend you carry a letter from your doctor stating your prescription and dosage if you are taking any medication.

Pharmacy opening hours

Pharmacies are usually open from 09:00 to 18:00 Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 13:00 on Saturdays and limited availability on Sundays. However, in larger cities you will find a number of pharmacies open late during the week and on the weekend. For more information and to find a pharmacy near you, visit the National Health Service pharmacy information website.

Vaccinations & inoculations

You do not require an International Certificate of Vaccination when travelling to the UK, but you should check if one is needed on re-entry into your own country.

Food & water

The level of food hygiene in Britain is very high, so you should simply observe the normal precautions when consuming food products, i.e. ensure it is thoroughly cooked, or that it is within the expiry date. The standard of water cleanliness is also very high, and in general kitchen water supplies, tap water in restaurants and ice cubes are safe drinking water. You can find bottled water in most shops and supermarkets.

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