THE UK government has issued new advice for Brits heading to Spain after Brexit, including how they can get medical treatment if they're injured while on holiday.
There are different rules for what happens during the transition period and what happens afterwards.
So before you jet off, here's what you need to know:
What is the transition period?
Now that the UK has left the EU, the country has entered into a transition period.
This period will last until December 31, 2020, during which the government will be busy negotiating deals that will shape future policy.
Because of this, there are different guidelines for holidaymakers who are travelling during the transition period and for those who are travelling afterwards.
Getting medical treatment in Spain during the transition period
If you're travelling to Spain during the transition period, there are no changes to getting access to medical care if you've hurt yourself – but you must carry the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
The EHIC entitles the holder to state healthcare in EU countries, including Spain.
This means that medical treatments offered free to Spanish citizens will be free to Brits as well – and if they have to pay, you will too.
This only applies to state medical care – ie, no treatments at private hospital – and only for medically necessary treatments.
The government adds, "You cannot use an EHIC for non-urgent planned treatment. For example, if you’re going abroad to give birth."
You can get an EHIC for free on the NHS website.
Travelling to Spain if you have a pre-existing medical condition
If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you may have to take additional documents about your health condition with you on holiday.
For example, if you're carrying medicine that contains a "controlled drug", you'll need to carry a doctor's note with you to prove that you've been prescribed the medicine.
Doctor's note to prove you've been prescribed medication
To prove you're carrying prescribed medication, you have to carry a doctor's note.
It must include:
- your name
- what countries you’re going to and when
- a list of your medicine, including how much you have, doses and the strength
- the signature of the person who prescribed your drugs
You may also have to show your medication at border control while entering or leaving the UK.
And if you're travelling to Spain for more than three months, or you have more than three months' worth of medication, you might have to carry a special licence.
You can check the list of controlled drugs here.
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