The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be the biggest sporting event on the planet this year and the largest national event that the UK has ever hosted.
After years of extensive planning Britain is geared up to welcome the world to London. We hope that everyone will enjoy a safe and healthy Games, but if overseas visitors do need healthcare while in London, here are some essential things you will need to be aware of in advance.
Remember your health insurance
ALL overseas visitors should have travel insurance with appropriate health care coverage before travelling to the UK. This will ensure you can claim back the cost of any treatment you might need during your stay.
Remember your European Health Insurance Card
If you live in the European Economic Area, your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) lets you get state healthcare at a reduced cost or sometimes free.
Check your eligibility for medical treatment
Medical treatment on the National Health Service (NHS) is only free to people who live in the UK or who are exempt from charges under the law.
If you do not normally live here and are not in an exempt category, then you will have to pay for the hospital treatment you receive. This is regardless of whether you are a British citizen, or have lived or worked here in the past.
For further guidance about eligibility for free health treatment, check the Department of Health website and check with the hospital providing the treatment.
Choose the right health service
During the Olympic and Paralympic Games
In London, the Games are in a number of sites around the capital. Spectators will need to plan ahead when travelling or walking between venues and not to underestimate what they will need on a day-to-day basis. Examples include:
- Water – Stay hydrated and especially when travelling on London Underground, keep water with you
- Sun – Stay safe in the sun by applying sunscreen, wearing a hat and staying out of direct sun between 11am and 3pm
- Smoking – It is illegal to smoke in all enclosed public places in England. All indoor Olympic and Paralympic venues will be smoke-free. Many outdoor public areas on Olympic and Paralympic sites will also be smoke-free. A small number of designated smoking areas will be clearly signposted.
The Guidance here has been produced for overseas visitors, which shows a few simple steps designed to help everyone, whether they are visiting London for the Olympics, or here to soak up the atmosphere of one amazing summer.