Knowing how to stay healthy while staying in London has never been more important. London has all the health advantages of a dynamic, modern capital, but you should still learn the basics. No vaccinations are required. Tap water is safe to drink and friendlier to the planet than bottled water. Remember, 999 is the number to call for genuine medical emergencies, use 111 for non-emergency advice. EU nationals can currently receive free emergency treatment with a European Health Insurance Card (www.ehic.org.uk). Residents of countries including Australia and New Zealand can receive free emergency treatment and subsidised dental treatment through the National Health Service (NHS, www.nhs.uk). If you’re staying for over a year, register with a doctor (GP or General Practitioner) near where you are living. Most importantly, take out travel insurance before you travel.
What about coronavirus?
So, what is the health advice in London for coronavirus or Covid-19? It’s a fast-changing situation throughout the world, so keep up with news broadcasts and be aware of the symptoms: cough, high temperature or fever, shortness of breath. If you think you may have the virus, particularly if you have come from a high-risk area in the last 14 days, you should NOT go to a GP surgery or hospital, but should instead stay home, avoid other people (‘self-isolate’) and phone 111 for advice. To minimize your chances of catching the virus, wash hands regularly with soap and hot water for 20 seconds, and use hand sanitizers; catch coughs and sneezes in tissues, and dispose of them; avoid close contact with people who are unwell; and avoid touching your face if your hands are not clean.
Does London have other health issues?
Is it true that the city has poor air quality? Like many cities, London faces challenges to reduce pollution and become greener. Its enduring nickname of the Old Smoke comes from a historic reputation for smog, a mixture of fog and smoke from coal fires. The air is cleaner these days, helped by interventions such as the Congestion Charge and the ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone), which charge motorists for driving into central London, and the introduction of hybrid, hydrogen, electric or ultra-low emission buses. A recent study indicated that air quality on the Underground is worse than at ground level, particularly on the Victoria line, so one health tip is to use buses or overground trains. London is also one of the greenest capitals in Europe, with green space forming 47 per cent of the city. There are eight famous Royal Parks (www.royalparks.org.uk/), known as the city’s ‘green lungs’, including our own wonderful Richmond Park (www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/richmond-park), famous for its ancient trees and herds of deer. London also has over 8 million trees, nearly one per inhabitant. So, perhaps you could find your own favourite tree in nearby Marble Hill Park and pay it regular visits. There are plenty to go round!
At 20 the Barons, we can offer our guests guidance to local GP practices, and advise on local cycling, running and walking routes as well as local exercise classes. We also offer luxury serviced apartments where you can keep yourself to yourself much more easily than in a hotel. Our luxury linen and super king-size beds will help you sleep; we provide yoga mats; and your kitchen is fully equipped to provide for your own healthy eating.
If you want to want to talk to me, Ali, this is my business and I’m a Londoner who has lived in this area all my life. We have been hosting business travellers and families from around the world for many years. I would love to talk to you about how we can help your relocation feel like you’ve not just moved house, but moved home.
We might be famous for our Full English Breakfast, but we don’t eat it every day! There are many healthy eating options and cafés in our St Margarets community, including our local delicatessen Zoran’s.
DID YOU KNOW:
A ‘pea souper’ was the name given to the thick, yellowish fog that used to hang over London in Victorian times. It was also known as a ‘London particular’, which in turn was the name given to a thick pea and ham soup!