News team

Depending on where you are travelling to, you may need vaccinations or an EHIC card. It is important to know about the health risks in the countries you are visiting and prepare accordingly. 

Zika virus

Whilst the World Health Organisation (WHO) is no longer treating the Zika virus as an emergency, it still maintains that the virus represents a 'significant and enduring' challenge. ABTA advises that people planning to travel to areas that may be impacted are advised to check and follow the advice of The National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNac) and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) before they travel.

Pregnant women already booked to travel to any of the destinations affected, should seek medical advice from their GP and talk to their travel provider. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika and receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures.

Please visit the World Health Organisation website for more information.

What is an EHIC card, what does it cover and where can I get or renew one?

A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC card) covers necessary medical treatment in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland - you are entitled to the same medical treatment as residents of that country. It is a requirement for many travel insurance policies, and your policy may be invalidated if you do not travel with a valid EHIC.

It is NOT a substitute for travel insurance – for example, it won’t cover repatriation, the cost of air ambulances and other associated medical expenses.

You can find out more about what is covered, apply for/renew your EHIC and which countries it is valid in on the NHS website.

Vaccinations

You will need to have some vaccinations before travelling to certain countries. Check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice for more information or the NHS’s Fit For Travel Map.

For more information on recommended vaccinations, ask your GP, practice nurse, pharmacist or travel clinic – remember to leave enough time for vaccinations before you travel.

Further travel health advice can be found on the TravelHealthPro website – the travel resources section of National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).