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Making yourself familiar with the City you are planning to visit will make your stay run smoothly and you will be confident that if anything were to happen you would be in a good position to be able to deal with it.
York has good access to all emergency services and has good facilities within close proximity of the city centre. Try their tourist information centre, in Museum Street, if you require further information.
Over the years, the City of York Council has taken the safety of its residents and visitors very seriously, by putting in place a number of initiatives to ensure that everyone can enjoy their time in the city. CCTV has been installed and now covers most of the city centre and the main car parks, with radio links to police on the streets, store security and some venues door staff.
The information in this section will be useful for planning ahead of your weekend break or to refer to during your short stay.
Read more on this destination in the AA Keyguide to Britain.
English is the official language in Bath, and is spoken everywhere. However, as with other parts of Britain, the locals have their own variations on the language and the way it is spoken but you should not have any difficulty understanding them.
Passport and Visas
Visitors from outside the UK must have a passport valid for at least six months from the date of entry. Before travelling, visitors from outside the UK should check visa requirements. Photographic ID is required for all internal flights. Check requirements with your airline.
Check your insurance coverage and a buy a supplementary policy if needed. EU nationals receive reduced-cost medical treatment with an EHIC card. Obtain this card before leaving home. Full health and travel insurance is still advised.
EU nationals do not have to declare goods imported for their own use, although you may be questioned by custom officials if you have a large amount of certain items. The limits for non-EU visitors are 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco; 1 litre of alcohol (over 22 percent alcohol) or 2 litres of wine; 50ml of perfume.
Visitors with disabilities
There is a shopmobility service available in York, at level 2 of piccadilly car park, that offers a loan service of both manual and powered wheelchair and scooters. Be aware, there is a small charge for the use of the items. There are also a number of free parking spaces for orange card holders in the city car-parks (make sure you check the time limits as they differ from one location to another), but be aware, these are not available in the parking at 'the Shambles'.
Currency is pounds sterling (£) in notes of £5, £10, £20, £50 and £100. Coins are issued in values of 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and £2. Credit cards are widely accepted and ATM's are readily available.
Tipping is discretionary. Taxi drivers are usually given 10%, restaurants often include service charges and these are always clearly stated on the menus, otherwise a tip of 10% is acceptable. Hotel staff, such as luggage handlers, happily accept one or two pounds but no other public service workers expect tips.
If property if lost on any of form of transport you should report this to the companies individual lost property departments.
You should report losses of passports to the police.
Medicines and Medical Treatment
Accident and Emergency unit is at the York Hospital, Wiggington Road, YO31 8HE (a 15 min walk from the city centre).
The NHS walk-in centre is at 31-33 Monkgate YO31 7WA, just outside the city centre.
Dental Emergencies can be dealt with at the Crystal Clear Dental Spa, who can be found at 25 Blake Street YO1 8QJ.
Citizens from the EU are entitled to free or reduced-cost NHS (National Health Service) treatment - bring the EHIC card from your home country. Full health an travel insurance is still advised. Those visiting from outside the EU should have travel and health insurance. For medical emergencies call 999 or go to the nearest hospital casualty department (emergency room). To find the nearest doctor, dentist or pharmacy ask at your hotel. Pharmacies and large supermarkets sell a range of medicines over the counter but items such as antibiotics require a doctor's prescription.
For Police, Ambulance or Fire call 999. For non-emergency police enquiries contact the nearest police station. Find the number in the phone book or call directory enquiries. If you break down driving a rental car, call the emergency number on your documentation.
Britain is on 240 volts AC and plugs have 3 square pins.If you are bringing an electrical appliance from a country where the voltage is the same, a plug adaptor will suffice. If the voltage is different, as in the US 110 volts, you will need a converter. Small appliances such as razors can run on a 50 watt converter, while heating appliances, irons and hairdryers require a 1,600 watt converter.
York has low crime rates but as with any unfamiliar city you should take precautions and be aware of your safety at all times. Be especially conscious of your personal and shopping bags. Keeping them close to you at all times.
Following an anti-smoking law in 2007, in Pubs, Bars and on public transport social smoking is no longer permitted, therefore smokers must take their cigarettes outside.