COVID-19, Brexit and More Must Be On The Agenda In ‘Year Like No Other’

Holidaymakers who are heading on breaks outside of the UK in the coming months must prepare for “anything and everything” if they want to stay safe on their travels this summer, according to legal experts who support victims of injury abroad.

Irwin Mitchell’s specialist International Serious Injury team has vast experience of providing advice to individuals who have suffered serious injury during trips abroad.

However, the experts are now warning that 2021 is clearly “a year like no other”, with COVID-19 and Brexit creating a new layer of complexity around organising a break abroad and staying safe throughout it.

As such, the lawyers have pulled together some key guidance for holidaymakers to bear in mind if they want to ensure that their breaks go as smoothly as possible.

by Cheryl Palmer-Hughes

It’s always exciting when you’re counting down the days to a holiday and, after the past year or so, many people will be desperate to get away and recharge their batteries in the sun. However, now more than ever, it’s vital that holidaymakers are prepared for anything and everything. As we’ve seen on countless occasions, problems can sadly emerge during breaks and COVID-19 and Brexit have created fresh issues for everyone to consider. Holidaymakers need to ensure they have a proper understanding of these matters and take simple steps with them in mind. In a year like no other, the right preparations should ensure you are able to get support should you need it and hopefully avoid any nasty surprises.”

COVID-19 travel advice

The ongoing issues around the pandemic are likely to have an impact on many travel plans this year. However, there are simple steps you can take related to the illness.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office website features a range of advice related to COVID-19 and you should check regulations around travelling before you set off. These might relate to leaving the UK or entering specific countries.

You may also need a negative test result to travel and, once you are abroad, you should take the same steps as you would in the UK. These will include using face coverings, washing your hands regularly and social distancing.

Finally, check cancellation details around your booking and ensure travel insurance is in place too.

Brexit travel advice

There may also be issues to consider in light of Brexit, such as the state of play around European Health Insurance Cards – known as EHICs.

If you are holidaying in the European Economic Area, an EHIC ensures you can access vital healthcare should you need it. However, if your card has expired, you will need a UK Global Health Insurance Card – or GHIC.

You can get them online or at a post office for free, but it’s still important to have comprehensive travel insurance in place. After all, a GHIC may not cover all expenses if something serious happens.

You should also check the new rules around passport and visa requirements for travel to EU member states on the Government website.

Accidents abroad

Irwin Mitchell supports holidaymakers who have been affected by all kinds of accidents abroad. These include major disasters to road traffic collisions, incidents around swimming pools and issues during adventure trips and excursions.

The firm’s international serious injury experts have successfully represented tens of thousands of people, securing damages to help fund vital rehabilitation, support and therapies they require following accidents abroad.

As well as ensuring you have comprehensive travel insurance in place, you should also look out for any safety advice or warnings around your accommodation or the local area. Finally, try to ensure you only use reputable providers for special activities and check safety standards and their insurance provisions as well if you can.

If something does happen, report the incident immediately to reps and staff and speak to your insurer. If possible, taking photographs could prove helpful, and you should also take the details of any witnesses to any incidents. Finally, keep hold of any documents related to your medical care.


Find out more about our expertise in helping people following accidents on holiday at our dedicated international serious injury section. Alternatively to speak to an expert contact us or call 0370 1500 100.