Updated 22nd April 2020, 17:12. For the latest medical advice, visit NHS.uk/Coronavirus.
In response to coronavirus measures, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are advising against all but essential foreign travel to tackle the spread of coronavirus. These restrictions will be in place for 30 days, but could be extended.
I have been working closely with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and constituents across the world to get them repatriated back home. The map above shows the locations of constituents we have been attempting to get home. If you, or you have a friend or loved one who is a constituent of North Devon and still stuck abroad and is trying to return, please send me an email to email@example.com and we will do all we can to get them home.
Selaine's ABTA Campaign response
“During this difficult time for the country, the Government recognises the extreme disruption the necessary actions are having on people’s lives, their businesses, their jobs and the nation’s economy. That is why it has produced a huge and unprecedented programme of support both for workers and for business, and it will continue do everything it can to ensure people can pay their bills, stay in their home and put food on their table.
I do not underestimate the difficulties currently facing the travel industry, and the Government is engaging with the package travel sector and consumer advocacy bodies to assess the impact of cancellations made in light of the Covid-19 outbreak. The Government has already taken a number of steps to ensure more support for businesses of all sizes, including those in the travel industry. This includes extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until at least the end June, extending the Coronavirus Interruption Loan Scheme to support all small businesses affected by coronavirus and creating a new Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme to help bigger firms as well.
I hope that travel firms of all sizes are using the schemes available to get through this extremely challenging period as best as they can. The Government is making progress on rolling these out, with the loans issued so far already worth more than £1.1 billion. Approvals have doubled in a week and lenders are increasing the number of loans they are approving every day. It has also changed the scheme to make it quicker and easier for banks to get the loans out the door to businesses.
I know that Ministers are aware of the ABTA campaign and will take any measures deemed necessary to support the travel industry. I will continue to engage with the Government on this.”
Are you abroad right now?
If you're travelling abroad at the moment, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises people to return to the UK now, if commercial flights are still available. International travel is becoming very limited, and new restrictions are being put in place.
If you're travelling abroad, you should:
1. Contact your airline or travel company now
2. Keep up to date with the Foreign Office travel advice pages by clicking here.
The Foreign Office is working with airlines to keep routes open, and calling for international action to keep routes open to enable British people to return home on a commercial flight. They are also working around the clock to support British travellers who are finding difficulties getting back to the UK.
If you are a permanent resident overseas, you should stay and follow the advice of the local authorities in the country you live in.
Do not travel abroad unless essential.
The Foreign Office advises British people against all non-essential travel worldwide. This advice took effect from 17th March and applies initially for 30 days. The Coronavirus pandemic has led to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions. All countries may restrict your travel without notice.
To change or cancel your travel plans, follow these steps.
- contact your airline, travel company, cruise line or other transport and accommodation providers
- get in touch with your insurance provider
- continue to follow the NHS coronavirus guidance
The Foreign Office was already advising against all but essential travel or all travel to some areas or countries due to risks that do not relate to COVID-19. This advice remains in place.
If your travel it essential, it is your responsibility to make sure you check travel advice before travelling. Use the link above to check advice and sign up for email alerts. You should:
- Make sure you have the appropriate travel insurance. If you have concerns about coronavirus, contact your travel provider to check what will be covered should you become sick or are required to self-isolate or quarantine by the local authorities.
- Check with your airline, tour operator, cruise line, or other transport and accommodation providers for any coronavirus-related changes.
- Plan ahead for any potential disruption.
- If you are older, or have pre-existing medical conditions, you are likely to become severely ill if you catch coronavirus. You should check NHS guidance before travelling.
Planning your trip
Make sure you have appropriate travel insurance for overseas travel, and purchase it as soon as you book your holiday. Read the Foreign Office guidance on purchasing insurance for more information.
Many countries and territories have introduced screening measures such as temperature checks and health/travel questions, and entry restrictions at border crossing and transport hubs.
If you have recently been in a country affected by the virus, you may need to be quarantined, or may not be allowed to enter or travel through a third country. Make sure you check the travel advice for all the countries you are planning to visit or travel through.
As governments and local authorities bring in measures to control the spread of coronavirus, some airlines are changing their schedules or suspending flights for some destinations. If you're due to travel to an area affected by coronavirus, make sure you check the latest information with your travel company or airline.
If you are planning to go on a cruise, be aware that a coronavirus outbreak on board is possible, and your travel may be disrupted.
If you are aged 70 or over, or have underlying health conditions, the Foreign Office advise you against cruise ship travel at this time.
If you are due to go on a cruise, check with your travel company for the latest information.
International education trips
If you are planning a trip overseas, you should read the Department for Education guidance. The government advises against all overseas education trips for children under 18 until further notice.
When you’re abroad
If travel advice changes when you are abroad
If Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice changes, you are advised to follow the advice of the local authorities. Your safety and security is the responsibility of the local authority where you are.
If you are abroad when the advice changes, contact your airline or travel company, and your insurance provider as soon as you are able to.
You should also keep checking Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice. If they advise people to leave a company they will say so, but only organise assisted departures in exceptional circumstances.
Quarantine while you are abroad
If the local authority where you are proposes to quarantine you for your own protection, you should follow their advice. When you are abroad, your safety and security is their responsibility.
If there are suspected cases of coronavirus where you are, you may need to remain in your hotel room or accommodation for 14 days, move to quarantine facilities, take tests for coronavirus and, if positive in some cases, be hospitalised abroad.
You should also contact your airline or travel company, and your insurance provider as soon as you can. We only organise assisted departure in exceptional circumstances.
If you require consular assistance, you can contact them at any time by calling your nearest British embassy, high commission, or consulate.