Latest Brexit healthcare advice for UK travellers issued by the Foreign Office – Leeds Live

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Latest guidelines on health care for UK travellers abroad have been issued by the Foreign Office.

Government officials confirmed that UK-issued healthcare cards will remain valid for use in European Union member nations from January 1 in a reciprocal arrangement similar to the former EHIC deal.

Travellers applying for new EHIC cards will now receive a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). However existing cars will still be accepted if they are in date.

The announcement follows conflicting advice from ministers after they warned of major changes and some disruption following Brexit.

Updated advice has been issued by the Foreign Office for travellers to countries including Spain, Portugal, Greece, France, Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, Belgium, Croatia, Sweden, Latvia, Slovakia, Romania, Poland, Finland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Malta, Luxembourg, Lithuania and Hungary.

However, the any outstanding EHIC cars will cease to be valid in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.

The EHIC application website states: “The UK has reached an agreement on healthcare when visiting the EU. You can continue to use an EHIC or get a provisional replacement certificate (PRC) if you need treatment and do not have a card.

“If you apply for a card now, you’ll get a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) instead of an EHIC. These pages and the application portal will still refer to EHIC until January 4, 2021. You do not need to apply for a GHIC if you already have an EHIC. Your EHIC remains valid in the EU until it expires.”

It added: “From January 1, 2021, GHICs and most UK EHICs will not cover you in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.

“If you’re visiting those countries, make sure you have travel insurance with health cover and check the GOV.UK travel advice. If you’re visiting Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland before 1 January 2021, your UK EHIC entitlements will continue until you leave that country.”

Travel insurance is also strongly recommended for anyone heading overseas.

Meanwhile stringent restrictions on travel abroad remain in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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