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WITH The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) lifting its non-essential international travel ban in 67 destinations from 4 July, the rising demand for holidays abroad is set to boom.  


The mandatory two-week quarantine for all inbound UK arrivals has also been scrapped this month for those travelling from 59 approved countries. However, for some, a trip to the British seaside may be more appealing - with cottage stays increasing by 455% and camping sites by 750% compared to this time last year, according to the Guardian.  


As holidays abroad and UK breaks are set to peak for the remainder of the summer, Shyam Morjaria, medical director at Nottingham-based UK Meds, shares advice on what essential items to pack for your holiday. 


Protect yourself from COVID-19 


He said: “Face masks have now become as essential to people’s holiday luggage as sun cream and medication. Now, it will be a requirement to wear face coverings in shops in England as well as on buses, trains, tubes and other forms of public transport – with those who fail to comply with the new rules facing fines. However, these rules may not apply to all countries so be prepared by checking local guidelines before travelling.  


“When it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19, any type of mask is better than none. Your specific circumstances matter when considering the type of mask to use, so this depends on what type of holiday you plan to go on and what you will be doing while you’re there. 


“Respirator masks - such as FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3 - are made of a fabric designed to filter the air or impurities. They are based on a grading system to indicate how much protection they offer and may be the best if you’re looking for a mask that provides more protection.  


"Surgical masks are also an option. They are disposable and are sufficient when you are going into areas that are less likely to be contaminated, such as walking outdoors or standing in areas where you know people will practice social distancing correctly. Fabric or homemade masks may be sufficient for this as well but be sure to pack plenty to last you while you’re away. 


“It is also important and advisable to carry hand sanitiser gel in your hand luggage or pocket when travelling or if you’re planning to go out for the day. Regular sanitising will ensure that any harmful bacteria or germs are killed effectively and it’s great way to avoid the virus if you don't have easy access to soap and water.” 


Stay safe in the sun  


“While the sun is proven to boost your mood and provide a healthy dose of vitamin D, which your body requires for a strong immune system, it also brings the risk of dehydration and sunburn.  


“Even if the sun doesn’t feel particularly hot, it is vital to pack sun cream with a high SPF to help protect your skin from long-lasting damage whether you’re in the UK or abroad. The sun emits harmful UV, UVA and UVB rays, which damages the top layers of the skin and causes you to tan or burn. They can also cause more serious sun damage such as cancerous cells or free radicals.  


“Suncare products contain an SPF (sun protection factor), which indicates how long your skin will be protected for, so it’s important to apply generously and continue to reapply throughout the day, as well as going in the shade when you notice you’re starting to burn. For any patches left exposed, you can apply after sun, which provides a cooling feeling to relieve sun burn.” 


Stay hydrated  


“Hot weather increases water loss through sweat, so it’s really important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids; more than the recommended two litres per day.  


“Packing a bottle of water in your hand luggage or while you’re out is vital when spending long periods of time in the sun. If you are drinking alcohol, drinking water is even more imperative on a hot day to avoid sunstroke, which can be life-threatening if not treated immediately.” 


Rehydrate yourself  


“Both alcohol and the sun can cause dehydration, which may leave you feeling extremely thirsty, dizzy, or fatigued. While it is advised to be sensible with alcohol consumption and sun exposure, it is good to be prepared and pack rehydration tablets or sachets, such as Dioralyte. These can offer a fast electrolyte boost and replace lost salts or fluids. Painkillers are also effective for treating headaches but should not be taken too often or used on a regular basis.” 


For further health advice or information on UK Meds, please visit or call 0115 907 0050 to speak to one of the company’s experts. 

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