Summer is finally here and for a lot of people that might mean thinking about a holiday. Here are some things to consider if you are planning on traveling abroad:
Restrictions may have eased in the UK, but that isn’t the case for all countries. Check COVID-19 travel guidance for the country you’re visiting and any countries you are travelling through. You should also check the country-specific healthcare advice.
The vaccines give you the best protection against COVID-19. If you have missed a COVID-19 vaccine dose it isnt too late to have it.
Consider wearing a face covering in crowded spaces and on public transport. Medical masks and respirator masks can provide you with better protection from COVID-19 than cloth masks.
Open windows to let fresh air in when sharing a space with people who you don't live with.
Different countries have different rules and regulations about the types and quantities of medicine they allow to be taken into the country. Check the rules for all countries you're visiting or travelling through. Check whether your prescription medicine contains a controlled drug and check with the embassy about the rules for the country you're going to before you travel. You can find a list of foreign embassies in the UK on GOV.UK.
Carry medication in their original packages in your hand luggage if possible (check your airline's regulations before travelling).
Some medicines need to be kept at room temperature (below 25C) or stored in the fridge. If you're travelling to a warm country, get advice from your pharmacist about storing your medicine. For example, to keep your medicine at the right temperature, you may need to store it with an ice pack or a cool bag.
It's a good idea to travel with a copy of your prescription and a letter from your GP that has details of your medication, including its generic name (not just the brand name) and the name of the health condition that you take it for. As well as helping you avoid any problems at customs, this will be useful if you need medical help while you're away. Your GP practice may charge for writing such a letter.
Check whether you need any travel vaccinations at least 8 weeks before you travel.
Some vaccinations are available on the NHS at GP surgeries but you might have to pay for some vaccines at a pharmacy that offers travel health services.
If you need any travel vaccinations remember to tell the health care professional about your lymphoma and about any treatment you are having to make sure it is safe for you to have, as live vaccines might be unsuitable for people who have lymphoma.
Travel insurance helps to cover the costs of things that don’t go to plan while you’re travelling away from home, such as cancelled flights, lost baggage and if you become unwell while you're away.
Travel insurance is usually more expensive for people who have a health condition, including lymphoma. This is because insurance companies work out the cost of the cover (premium) based on how likely it is that someone will make a claim. To help insurers work out how likely you are to make a claim, they ask questions about your lymphoma. If you don’t tell your insurance company everything they need to know about your health, you might not be covered if you need to make a claim.
Healthcare cover abroad (GHIC and EHIC)
If you’re visiting a European Union (EU) country carry a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) as this will allow access to state-provided healthcare in some countries, at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free.
There are 2 types of cover available:
a UK Global Health Insurance Card (UK GHIC)
a UK European Health Insurance Card (UK EHIC), if you have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.
For most people, the UK Global Health Insurance Card (UK GHIC) replaces the existing European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). If you have an existing EHIC, it will remain valid until the expiry date on the card. You can apply for a new UK EHIC or UK GHIC from the NHS.
Your EHIC or GHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance. It may not cover all health costs and never covers repatriation costs.
We have further information on travelling outside the UK if you have lymphoma, travel insurance and tips on staying safe and reducing your risk of catching COVID-19.
Follow the most up-to date UK guidance on Living safely with respiratory infections, including COVID-19.
TravelHealthPro provides country specific health related travel information.
GOV.UK Travel abroad from England during COVID-19 provides information about what you need to do to follow COVID-19 rules for other countries when you travel abroad from England.
GOV.UK Foreign travel advice provides advice about travelling abroad, including the latest information on coronavirus, safety and security, entry requirements and travel warnings.
NHS: Can I take my medicine abroad?
Published: 6 July 2022