Sunday, 14 May, 2000, 16:59 GMT 17:59 UK
Foreign Office advice
Fans are advised to book with reputed travel companies
The Foreign Office has issued comprehensive travel advice to British supporters making the trip to Belgium and the Netherlands:
Take out travel insurance. Make sure it covers medical, legal and repatriation fees. The Foreign Office cannot pay these bills for you.
Apply for your form E111 - available at most Post Offices - which will cover you for most medical treatment.
Expect there to be a fun atmosphere at this major sporting event. Britons going to the matches will be ambassadors for their country.
Foreign Office message to fans
Take travellers' cheques rather than cash. Travellers' cheques can be replaced - cash cannot.
Most cashpoints in Belgium and the Netherlands accept British debit and credit cards.
Book accommodation early - the Foreign Office expects 50,000 fans from Britain, but estimates of total visitors to Belgium and the Netherlands range up to 1m.
Do not leave it to the last minute - you could find yourself without anywhere to stay.
Local regulations require that you carry your passport with you at all times.
You will need to prove your identification before you can enter stadiums during the competitions.
Keep a photocopy of your passport at your hotel and leave another with your family in the UK.
This will help you get a replacement if your passport is stolen or lost.
Embassy staff will be on hand to help supporters
Only carry enough money for you daily needs.
Wherever possible make use of hotel safe deposit facilities for the safekeeping of extra cash and other valuables.
If you are travelling as part of an organised tour, then make sure that the company is a member of ABTA.
If your travel company goes bust whilst you are out there, you could find yourself stranded without transport, no tickets and with accommodation bills to pay.
The Foreign Office will post special information about the tournament in its travel advice notices for Belgium and the Netherlands.
These will be available on the FCO website - http://www.fco.gov.uk - on Ceefax page 470 onwards, and from the FCO's Consular Division Travel Advice Unit (tel: 020 72 38 45 03/4).
These notices will also be distributed to airlines and travel agents.
British Embassy and Consulate staff
The Foreign Office wants to ensure the maximum safety and security of all fans before, during and after the tournament.
Since May 1999, officials from the British Embassy in Brussels and the British Consulate-General in Amsterdam have been liaising with the Belgian and Dutch authorities about preparations for the tournament and the safety of visiting British nationals.
Sixteen staff from the two British missions will be on duty for the whole of Euro 2000. Staff will be deployed to Charleroi and Eindhoven throughout the tournament.
Their objective will be to provide a consular service to British nationals (including prison/hospital visits, and advice on the transfer of funds).
Emergency and replacement passports will only be available from the British missions in Brussels, Amsterdam and Antwerp.
They will also ensure that friends and relatives, through the FCO, are swiftly informed of the whereabouts and welfare of British nationals in trouble.
For consular assistance, British nationals should contact:
British Embassy in Brussels (Rue D'Arlon 85, 1040 Brussels, tel: (32)(2)287 6211, fax: (32)(2)287 6270)
British Consulate General in Antwerp, (Korte Klarentstraat 7, 2000 Antwerp, tel: (32)(3)232 69 40, fax (32)(3)231 57 19)
British Consulate-General in Amsterdam (Koningslaan 44, 1075 AE Amsterdam, tel: (31)(20)676 43 43, fax: (31)(20)675 8381).
What consular assistance can they provide?
Replace lost or stolen passports.
Advise on how to transfer funds.
Help you get in touch with local lawyers, interpreters and doctors.
Contact next of kin in an emergency.
Contact and visit British nationals in hospital.
Contact and visit British nationals in prison.
The Consulate-General cannot intervene in court proceedings, get you out of prison, give legal advice, or pay your hotel or legal bill.
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