Heathrow Airport, London. archive photo. | Reuters


British tourists who travel to Europe after the final stage of Brexit on December 31 are advised to buy insurance before they go on holiday in Europe, otherwise they could end up paying thousands of euros if they get sick, according to Which? Travel.

So far, UK residents have been able to access subsidised or free treatment for illness or injury with a European Health Insurance Card, but the EHIC card won’t be valid after December 31, 2020 and although talks are continuing, at the moment there’s no other option on the table.

Travel insurance is not cheap, especially for people with pre-existing illnesses or disabilities and if you're over 55 be prepared to shell out serious money for holiday cover.

One in five Brits never buy travel insurance when they go abroad and in 2018 one in eight got sick or injured when they were overseas.

So is it worth winging it? Here’s the official price list for healthcare treatment in the Balearic Islands, i'll let you decide!

A pelvic fracture or hip dislocation - £1,671-£8,329.
Gastritis or a peptic ulcer - £1,991-£9,451.
Hospitalisation for food poisoning - £2,000
Appendectomy - £7,000
Stitches for a cut: £300-£500.
Heart Attack surgery an 10 days in hospital for a 65 year old - £12,000

None of these prices include the cost of repatriation which can cost an absolute fortune.

Travel insurance is not available for some serious illnesses, so unless an EU-UK health insurance deal can be struck some people just won’t be able to travel.

Which? Travel says people with pre-existing medical conditions should check out the Money Advice Service’s travel insurance directory, which is free to use and includes specialist insurers that may be on comparison sites.

If you’re buying travel insurance for the first time please check the small print to make sure you’re covered for liability, cancellation, Covid-19 and your personal belongings.