Important Dates

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Banking
Banking services, ATMs, and currency exchange are widely available around the city and Heathrow Airport, including many international banks such as HSBC and Barclays.  Banks are generally open from 09:30 to 14:30 from Monday to Friday and 09:30-12:00 on Saturdays.  

Climate & Clothing
The average temperature in London in July is 19 C, with an average high of 23 C and a low of 15 C.  There is a 50% chance of rain, with 14 rainy days in the month.  Rainfall tends to be light or moderate showers, and cloudy days can also be common.  

Currency & Credit Cards
The official currency in England is the Pound Sterling.  ATM’s are widely available in London, and you should have no problem if you land in the city with nothing but a credit card.  VISA and MasterCard credit cards are accepted by almost every merchant, shops, or cafe and restaurant. 

Foreign Exchange
ATMs are widely available across the city, making it very straightforward to directly withdraw British Pounds.  If you prefer, you may exchange cash at numerous Bureau de Change around the city, including at the airport.

Driving License
You may use your valid driver’s licence from your country of residence to drive in Great Britain.  However, an International Driver’s Permit can be useful backup option, and may be required if you are ferrying across the channel or by a rental company if your licence is not in English.

Electricity
In the UK, electricity is supplied at 230 Volt / 50Hz AC.  Type G outlets are used, with three rectangular prongs.

Emergency Telephone Numbers
Call 112 or 999 for emergency services (police, fire, ambulance).

Insurance
Registration fees do not include insurance of any kind. At the time you register for the Meeting and book your travel, you may wish to take an insurance policy of your choice. This insurance is to be purchased in your country of origin.

Internet Access
There is wireless internet access available at the official hotel.

Smoking
Smoking is not permitted inside of public enclosed or substantially enclosed spaces, including restaurants, public transport vehicles, taxis, and hotels (except within designated smoking roooms.) The fine is £50.  You may ask any business or public employee for help locating designated smoking areas.

Tax-free shopping
Under the Retail Export Scheme (also known as the Tax Free Shopping Scheme), you might be eligible for a VAT refund on some goods purchased during your visit to the UK.  Ask your retailer about eligibility.  You must collect a VAT 407 form from your retailer, and present this form along with your goods at customs for approval when you leave the country. (If these items will be in your checked bag, you must do this before checking the bag.)  You may then collect a refund from a refund booth or by mailing the form back to the retailer.  For more information, visit: https://www.gov.uk/tax-on-shopping/taxfree-shopping