Sick notes & holiday insurance COVID

Holiday insurance cancellation letters

We regret that in these exceptional circumstances the practice is currently unable to write any letters for patients who are making a holiday refund insurance claim.

This service is non contractual and as such we are under no obligation to offer this. We hope you will understand that the GPs need to focus upon the clinical needs of their patients at this difficult time.

The Government announced on 17th March that: -

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) now advises British people against all non-essential travel worldwide. This advice takes effect immediately and applies initially for a period of 30 days.

As such, insurance claims can be requested on this basis. Full details can be read at

Covid-19 and Request for Doctor’s Note (the Med3 ‘Fit Note”)

Request for certification of absence from the workplace may fall into five categories:

1. Personally affected so isolating for seven days

Patients can and should self-certify for the first seven days as normal if they are unfit to work. They do not need to contact their GP.

2. Personally affect and remaining unwell for over seven days

If they remain unwell and unfit to work after seven days the current advice to visit where there is an online self-assessment tools: the patient may be invited to call 111 and given further advice a MED3 certificate emailed to them. They do not need to contact their GP.

3. Household contact affect so isolating for fourteen days as per government advice

4. At risk groups so following government advice

GPs cannot and are not the gatekeeper of the statutory sick pay system. Employers are responsible for putting in place arrangements for home/remote working where it is possible. Where it is not, the employee may self-certify and return to work following the relevant absence which their employer may authorise as per government advice. Where they do become unwell during or after this time, point 1 or 2 applies. They do not need to contact their GP.

5. Those in fulltime education

There is no NHS requirement to issue certification to schools or colleges to confirm absence. These organisations must work with parents and students to ensure that any absence is appropriately recorded, obviating the need for a ‘doctor’s note’. They do not need to contact their GP.

 As per the current S13 Guidance for Employers it should be noted that:

 By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness. After 7 days, it is for the employer to determine any evidence they require, if any, from their employee.  This does not need to be a fit note (MED3) issued by a GP or any other doctor.

 Your employee will be advised to isolate themselves and not to work in contact with other people by NHS111 or Public Health England if they are a carrier of, or have been in contact with, an infectious or contagious disease, such as Covid-19.

 We strongly suggest that employers use their discretion around the need for medical evidence for a period of absence where an employee is advised to stay at home due to suspected Covid-19, in accordance with the public health advice being issued by the government.

This note has been written for and on behalf of your surgery by Wessex LMCs, the body in statute that represents, supports and advises Wessex GPs and their practice teams.

Call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergencyNHS ChoicesThis site is brought to you by My Surgery Website