England Travel Health Advice
England travel presents few health risks to the traveller. There are few infectious diseases and the country is well provided with emergency medical facilities.
This page gives basic information about health insurance, vaccinations and common questions and concerns you may have when planning your England trip.
This page is meant for general information only.
Please consult your own doctor with any specific questions relating to your England travel plans.
Travel and Medical Insurance
You should make sure that you have adequate travel and medical insurance for your trip. Should you suffer an accident and need to be flown home for example, the costs can mount up quickly.
While in the country, you are covered for free emergency treatment at any hospital Accident & Emergency unit, but all other treatment - even hospital admission after emergency treatment - has to be paid for.
This does not apply if you are a citizen of the European Union or a country with which Britain has a reciprocal health-care arrangement. If you are a citizen of a state of the European Union, you should obtain an E111 card while planning your England travel and carry it during your trip.
For emergency medical assistance, dial 999 from any phone and request the appropriate emergency service - ambulance, police, fire brigade etc.
Hotels, guest houses, Bed & Breakfasts and many holiday cottages and apartments usually have phone numbers and addresses of the nearest hospital, dentist and GP (also called general practitioner or family doctor) included in the visitor information folders.
No special immunisations or vaccinations are required to enter the United Kingdom.
It is recommended that you are up to date with the following immunisations:
- MMR (measles, mumps and rubella)
- influenza (if travelling during the winter months)
If you are taking prescription medication and want to bring your medicines into the country, you must make sure that they are in their original containers.
You should also bring a letter from your doctor, confirming the prescription. This will also help should you have to replace your medicines in the UK.
Food and drink in the UK are generally safe and in most pubs, cafes and restaurants food hygiene standards are high.
All tap water is of drinking water quality and bottled water is also widely available. It is recommended that all fruit and vegetables to be eaten raw are washed before consumption.
In England we always complain that we don't get enough sun, so as soon as the first fine days arrive, we're outside 'soaking up the rays'.
But while English sunshine is not as hot or intense as it is in countries further south, people do still get sunburn. Please take special precautions if you're planning to be outdoors all day, when there's a light wind or at the seaside. And remember that it's still easy to get dehydrated, even if it isn't baking hot.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
England does not have a large problem with HIV/AIDS, but other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) - for example chlamydia and syphilis - are on the increase, especially amongst 16 to 24 year olds.
Condoms are available from all supermarkets and pharmacies. Many supermarkets are open seven days a week. Some even open round the clock.