Martin Lewis sounds warning to anyone travelling to Spain, France and other holiday hotspots this summer
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Martin Lewis has sounded an urgent warning travel warning to Brits making their way to Spain, France and other popular holiday hotspots this summer. Changing regulations around two essential documents could leave holidaymakers in the lurch, the consumer champion said.
Firstly, Mr Lewis addressed the transition from the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). The cards guarantee British tourists access to state-run hospitals and GPs in all the covered countries for the same price locals would pay.
All EU countries are covered under this rule, as well as Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Switzerland. But 5.4 million of the old EHICs are set to expire this year.
“If anybody is charging you, they are a shyster trying to steal your money. There is no such thing as a fast track.”
Mr Lewis added that the cards are always advisable as they could prevent you from needing to pay the excess on your travel insurance. You can contact the NHS and ask for a provisional replacement certificate if you are caught short without one and need it while on holiday.
Mr Lewis went on to discuss the requirements for passports to remain valid. He said the passport must be under ten years old on the day you enter the country and that you have at least 6 months left on the document from the same day.
The Passport Office currently advises people to allow “up to 10 weeks” for a renewal, though Mr Lewis said he had heard of longer delays. He said: “Let me be plain - the travel insurance company will not allow you to claim if [an invalid passport] is the reason you can’t go on holiday,” he said.
Mr Lewis dished out the tips on his Money Show on ITV, which returned on Tuesday night (June 20) for the second of a two-part special series focusing on summer holiday tips. The show will return for a full series in October.