Guide to Illness and Injury in Greece
Despite the economic crisis, Greece is still a popular destination for British tourists looking to enjoy one of the largest Mediterranean coastlines in Europe. But what would you do if you became ill or injured on your package holiday and were unable to fully enjoy your Greek break in the sun?
In this guide we’re going to explain how to stay safe in Greece and how to claim compensation if it all goes wrong.
About the cradle of western civilization
Greece is often referred to as the cradle of western civilization, and for good reason. With a rich history this land was once home to great philosophers, mathematicians and conquerors; many tourists like to indulge in the history of Greece, while others just like to enjoy the great temperature and many resorts that line the Mediterranean coastline.
Suffered an illness?
You might be looking forward to indulging in as much moussaka, olives, feta and tzatziki as you can when you arrive in Greece, but it’s important to be aware that not all of the food served at your resort may be safe.
Some resorts may not have trained their food handling staff to the levels that we’re used to here in the UK, meaning that they might not have a good understanding of food hygiene, resulting in food poisoning and illness outbreaks.
Some of the most common causes of food poisoning in Greece include the following:
What are the risks?
Infectious bacteria and parasites can spread quickly leading to an outbreak that could be caused by a lapse in food safety or mistakes being made at any stage of the food supply chain. Good hygiene at your hotel is also the responsibility of the house keeping team who should be doing all that they can to prevent guests from becoming ill.
In the event that employees at your resort don’t work diligently; disease can soon spread, with severe symptoms that are sure to ruin your holiday.
Some of the more common infections that British tourists encounter include the following:
Don’t trust the water
Swimming pools provide an excellent opportunity to cool off from the often intense Mediterranean heat, and are a great place for the kids to blow off some steam while you relax by the side of the pool, potentially with Greece’s answer to the Mojito; the Ouzito.
The pool was likely part of the sales pitch by your tour operator, but what if it isn’t as clean as you thought? Your resort might not use a disinfectant like chlorine in the pool water, meaning that infectious bacteria like Cryptosporidium can easily spread.
We recommend questioning the employees at your resort if you can’t detect that distinct chlorine smell in the pool water, but even if it is present and you want to avoid any potentially harmful infections, we recommend showering before and after you swim.
What to if you become ill
If you experience a bout of travellers’ diarrhoea and your symptoms don’t improve within 24 hours, then there are a few steps that you need to take:
Holiday Hotel Watch
We track hotels and resorts in Greece and throughout the world for illness outbreaks, so that our clients can know before they travel to a food poisoning hot spot or hygiene nightmare. Check our Holiday Hotel Watch website for updates on illness abroad before booking your holiday to ensure that you don’t end up with a disastrous break abroad.
Had a personal injury abroad?
While you might be able to avoid a holiday ruining illness, there are times where an accident can happen that wasn’t your fault. Some accidents can be minor, but some can result in a serious injury that might stop you from doing everything that you had planned for your holiday in Greece.
We find that the most common causes of these types of injury include the following:
What to do if you get injured abroad
If you become injured due to an accident that you believe wasn’t your fault, then you might want to make a claim for compensation when you return to the UK. Before you do, there are a few things that you can do while still in Greece:
Your right to make a claim
If your package holiday in Greece was ruined by an illness or injury that you suffered through no fault of your own and as a result of your stay at your resort, then you may be entitled to claim compensation from your tour operator.
Because of The Package travel Regulations 1992 your tour operator is responsible for every aspect of your holiday, meaning that they are the ones to blame if something goes wrong at your resort or during your journey.
Before you contact your tour operator
You might be tempted to contact your tour operator as soon as you return to the UK and make a complaint on your own, but we recommend receiving specialist legal advice first. Your tour operator might try to settle your claim at a fraction of its true value with vouchers instead of a payment or refund.
Our travel law specialists have experience of working with the big tour operators and know the tricks that they can use to pay out as little as possible. We will strive to get you the compensation that you deserve.