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Edinburgh

Climate
The temperature in Edinburgh in May is warm; between 14 and 18°, however we recommend that you bring warm clothes for the evenings. For up to date weather reports please click on the following link: UK weather

Currency
The local currency is Sterling, the UK/British Pound £ (GBP). Euros are not used in the UK although many large hotels and shops do accept them, but you may not be offered the best exchange rate. In Scotland you will receive notes printed by the Scottish Banks from an ATM (see below) or as change. These look different to those issued in England. The different types of notes are generally interchangeable within the UK.

Tax
The current rate of Value Added Tax (purchase tax) in the United Kingdom is 20%. If you live outside the European Union, you can take advantage of the Tax Free Shopping scheme to reclaim Value Added Tax (VAT) on purchases for export.

Credit Cards
All major credit cards are widely accepted in hotels, shops, cafés and restaurants. You should always carry photographic ID as you may be asked for this when making a transaction. American Express (AMEX) is accepted less widely in the UK.

ATM/Cash Machines
There are many ATM’s in the city either beside banks or as stand-alone cash-points. Sterling can be withdrawn from these machines by using a credit/debit card (charges apply in some cases).

Banks & Foreign Exchange Bureaux
Banks are open from 9:30 – 17:00 from Monday to Friday, and some larger branches also operate on a Saturday until 12.00.
Alternatively there are many post offices and foreign exchange bureaux, although they usually charge higher rates of commission than banks. Avoid changing money or cheques in hotels, as the rates are usually quite high.

Electricity
The UK and Republic of Ireland use a power outlet plug and socket system which is a different design to other European countries: (3 pin rectangular rather than 2/3 pin round). Adapters can be purchased in the airports and electrical shops.

Emergency Phone Numbers
Dial 999 for fire, police, ambulance or coastguard services.
Emergency calls are free from pay phones.

Medical Treatment
If you become ill while visiting Britain, you can get free emergency treatment in the Accident and Emergency departments of National Health Service hospitals. However, if you are admitted to hospital as an in-patient, or referred to an out-patient clinic, you will be asked to pay.

European visitors should obtain a European Health Insurance Card which should provide healthcare at a reduced rate. Please visit their website for information on what it covers.

In Britain you can buy over-the-counter (non-prescription), medications as well as get expert medical advice at pharmacies – often called chemists.

Pharmacies are usually open from 09:00 to 18:00 Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 13:00 on Saturdays and limited availability on Sundays. However, in Edinburgh you will find a number of pharmacies open late during the week and on the weekend. For more information and to find a pharmacy near you, visit the National Health Service pharmacy information website.

 

Language
English is the national language.

Restaurants & Bars
Meals are normally taken earlier than in other European Cities, so please remember this when making dinner plans as restaurants tend to be busiest around 19.30-20.30hrs.

Lunch – 12.00-14.00hrs (most people take no more than one hour for lunch)

Dinner – 18.00-22.00hrs (many restaurants may stop serving food after 22.00hrs)

Bars are open for lunch and usually close at 23.30hrs with nightclubs open until 03.00 in the morning.

Taxis
The traditional ‘Black Cab’ is the most popular type of taxi and these can be pre-booked or can be stopped in the street when the ‘TAXI’ sign is illuminated.

Edinburgh airport has a fleet of taxis which do not need to be pre-booked.

Private Taxis (i.e. non black cab) must be pre booked and cannot be stopped in the street.

Time
It will be British Summer Time (GMT + 1) for the duration of the conference.

Tipping
Service is not normally included in restaurant, hotel and taxi bills. 10%-15% is the normal rate to add to the bill.

Travel Insurance
Please make sure that you have valid travel insurance to cover your time in the country.

The Organisers will not be held liable for illness, accidents or thefts suffered by participants or accompanying persons during the conference or their stay in the UK before or after the conference.

Visa
If you are an EU citizen, you must present either a passport or an ID card valid for the duration of your stay in order to enter Scotland.

Citizens of other countries must have a valid passport. Some non-EU citizens are required to produce a visa. Please contact your travel agent or the nearest UK diplomatic post for further information.

Should you need a letter of invitation to obtain an Entry Visa, please contact the conference secretariat merh@in-conference.org.uk. These will only be issued to delegates who have fully registered and paid.

Please note that we cannot enter into correspondence with the UK Authorities on your behalf and any invitation letter does not imply any financial liability on our part.