Edward Moss – solicitor in our Personal Injury team – asks: Have You Been Ill Whilst On A Package Holiday?

Have you been ill whilst on a package holiday?  If so, British law may be able to help.

If you have booked a package holiday and you become ill whilst abroad then you may be able to rely upon the Package Travel Regulations.  It could be possible to pursue a claim in England even though your illness occurred whilst away from home.

Cruises are now more popular than ever.  Contagious diseases can occur to both members of crew and passengers and if not contained, can quickly spread throughout the whole ship.  There have been many documented cases of norovirus which in particular can quickly decimate an entire boat.

Many holidaymakers are also tempted by all-inclusive packages.  Often the hotel meals are provided in a buffet style.  Sadly, food not consumed immediately is often re-used and re-heated for the next day.  The food is then stored at temperatures that are unsafe and left in the open for many hours.  The result can be a breeding ground for bacteria.

Food poisoning is a serious problem.  It especially affects the vulnerable including the young and the elderly.  Symptoms do not appear immediately and can occur many days or even weeks later.

If you become ill on holiday then it is advisable to:-

(a)        Take photographs and videos of the food on display and of each other;

(b)        Specifically note the exact dates of the illness and the start and end points;

(c)        Keep details of any attendance at local medical practitioners or hospitals;

(d)        Report details of the illness to the hotelier or ship; and also a representative of the travel company;

(e)        Insist that a report is made;

(f)        Make a note if you drank, eat or swim in other premises during your hotel stay or cruise;

(g)        Note if other hotel guests become ill and obtain their name, address and contact details.

If you do wish to make a claim you do have the burden of proving that the illness was caused on holiday.  This is why the above steps are critical.  Also these cases are much easier to prove if you have purchased an all-inclusive holiday or if you have holidayed on a cruise ship where all meals have been consumed.

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