New rules for travelling to the Channel Islands

If you are planning a trip to the Channel Islands, you may not be aware that the rules concerning free medical healthcare for UK travellers have changed. The Reciprocal Healthcare Agreement between the UK and the Channel Islands which was set up over 30 years ago ended on 31st March 2009, meaning UK travellers are no longer entitled to free healthcare whilst visiting the Islands.

The end of the agreement, which allowed UK travellers to receive a limited number of medical treatments in the Channel Islands free of charge, will also mean visitors from the Channel Islands to the UK will now be liable for charges for medical treatment when visiting the UK.

Check out 24/7 travel insurance who cover a 3-day trip to the Channel Islands for only £5.32*.

Experience Europe… without the Euro!Last year, more than 550,000 Brits travelled to the Channel Islands which include Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney, Sark and Hern. The number of UK visitors travelling to the Channel Islands this year is expected to rise due to the weakness of the British pound.**

The online travel agent Expedia.co.uk have reported that web searches to the Channel Islands in February have doubled compared to February last year, proving that UK travellers are preferring to take their annual holiday closer to home.** With low cost airlines like Flybe operating frequent flights to Guernsey and Jersey, it’s now easier than ever to experience a taste of Europe without the Euro!

Travel insurance – don’t leave home without it!The Channel Islands are Crown Dependencies of the UK but are outside of the European Union (EU). This means your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) – which may entitle the holder to free medical treatment within the EU, will not be valid in the Channel Islands. So remember to take out adequate travel insurance before you travel!

If you have any questions about the end of the Reciprocal Health Agreement between the UK and Channel Islands, you can get information by:

  • telephoning the Department of Health Customer Service Centre on 0207 210 4850
  • or by emailing dhmail@dh.gsi.gov.uk

So whether you are travelling to or from any of the Channel Islands, make sure you have adequate travel insurance to cover the cost of medical treatment should you become ill or injured.

* The premium £5.32 includes Insurance Premium Tax based on 1 adult aged under 55 taking out a ‘Standard’ Single Trip 24/7 travel insurance holiday insurance policy for 3 days in Europe excluding personal possessions cover and travelling within 14 days of purchase. Cover details and prices are correct at time of going to press (April 2009) and are subject to change.

** Source: The Telegraph