Illness Outbreak Reported at Hurghada Hotel
Our team of travel law solicitors are pursuing a group action against a leading UK tour operator as a result of an outbreak of illness at an all-inclusive hotel, located within the resort of Hurghada in Egypt.
Holidays to the once popular Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh have been placed on “stop sale” by most tour operators in the UK, making Hurghada a popular alternative for British tourists, given its similarities to Sharm el-Sheikh and the availability of cheap package holidays. Regular visitors to the resort continue to be seduced by the sunny climate and its proximity to fascinating historic locations such as the Valley of the Kings.
Are More Illness Outbreaks Expected in Hurghada?
Hopefully the recent illness outbreak that is currently the subject of a group claim will just be a one off, but with an increasing number of tourists heading to Hurghada on modestly priced all-inclusive package holidays this might not be the case. If the infrastructure and resources required to be able to safely provide food and drink at the resort are not put into place in advance of the anticipated influx of holidaymakers over the summer season, it’s likely that we’ll see another outbreak.
A single lapse in hygiene safety standards can easily cause infection to spread, especially in a busy resort where large numbers of people are frequently visiting buffets and using shared hotel facilities. Something as simple as storing or serving food at the wrong temperature or allowing raw meat to come into contact with cooked food could soon cause problems.
Which Hotels Are Susceptible?
An infectious disease can be spread at any hotel but those that do not have an effective documented hygiene system in place, or that try cut corners are most at risk. We monitor hotels that are provided by the UKs largest and most popular tour operators, including Thomas Cook, TUI Holidays and First Choice Holidays for signs that may indicate that an illness outbreak is occurring, including the following hotels in Hurghada:
I Have Booked a Holiday in Hurghada – Should I Be Concerned?
If you are planning to travel to Hurghada this summer, there is no need to be overly concerned as the vast majority of hotels there operate at high standards with well documented hygiene processes in place which are followed. Most holidays in Hurghada are incident free, but any of the following could be indicative of a breakdown in hygiene and should be reported if witnessed:
What is the Best Way to Avoid Illness Abroad?
- Be vigilant – If you are served undercooked food or food of a poor standard, do not presume that it is okay. Instead raise a complaint with your holiday representative and make sure that the hotel management are aware.
- Take precautions – Hotel toilet facilities may have no soap or toilet paper, and hand sanitisation is not always compulsory in dining rooms. Hand sanitisation can help to prevent the spread of infection, so carrying a pack of handkerchiefs and a small hand sanitising alcohol gel is a really easy way to prevent illness abroad.
- Book a package holiday – The Package Travel Regulations came into force in 1992, and these regulations give you the ability to recover compensation for a regulated package holiday abroad in the UK, providing you with protection in the event that something goes wrong.
Reputable tour operators typically only offer accommodation that is regularly audited and holds a valid operating licence. You might find that other companies offer what looks like a package holiday, but turns out to be a separate combinations of flights and accommodation. Be wary of these as the standards can vary wildly and you won’t have the same right to compensation if something goes wrong.
What Should I Do if I Am Ill on My Holiday to Hurghada or on My Return?
- Report your illness and keep a written record to prove that it was reported
- Seek medical advice in resort where symptoms are severe, however be wary of taking medication without ensuring that it is safe and that you have no allergies to it. Clinics in Hurghada have been known to prescribe drugs which are not licenced in the UK and of course the local hospitals and clinics will not have access to your medical history
- Keep medication packaging, prescriptions and medication receipts
- Gather evidence of poor hygiene standards, photographs in particular are helpful
- Gather names and contact details of other people that are also ill and keep these safe
In the UK
- Seek medical attention from your GP, a walk in centre or local hospital depending on the severity of the symptoms
- Contact a lawyer that specialises in travel law to get free initial advice. Be wary of firms that ask for money upfront and fail to mention insurance or make claims about their experience in dealing with holiday claims without being able to back it up with case studies.
Why Contact Simpson Millar?
Our dedicated holiday claims team consists of lawyers who have previously worked for the major tour operators and our travel law team is one of the largest in the country, with a track record of securing settlements from tour operators.
We can provide you with free advice on your claim and in many cases can pursue a claim for illness on no win no fee’ terms.
Find Out More
If you would like to find out more about making a claim for compensation following a holiday illness, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of the team who will be happy to talk you through your options.