UK drops advice against non-urgent travel to over 30 destinations

UK drops advice against non-urgent travel to over 30 destinations

Advisories against all but essential travel lifted making travel to destinations across the globe more straightforward.

advice against all but essential travel removed for 32 countries and territories

travellers able to get insurance for more destinations

changes are a boost for businesses and families

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) has lifted its advice against all but essential travel for over 30 countries and territories. The change means people will be able to travel to a larger number of destinations with greater ease.

The update comes as part of a simplified system for international travel which has seen the replacement of the traffic light system with a single red list, and reduced testing requirements for eligible fully vaccinated travellers.

The FCDO will no longer advise against travel to non-red list countries on COVID-19 grounds, except in exceptional circumstances such as if the local healthcare system is overwhelmed.

Many travel insurance companies use FCDO travel advice as a reference point in their policies – typically excluding cover for places where government advises against essential travel, however, people will now be able to purchase travel insurance for a wider range of destinations across the globe.

Advice has been lifted in light of the improved public health in many countries and territories, a better understanding of the virus and the decreased risk to British nationals as a result of the vaccine rollout.

The FCDO will continue to advise against all but essential travel for all red list countries and territories where the risk to British travellers is ‘unacceptably high’. People should not travel to red list countries. The FCDO will remove advisories for more countries and territories in the coming days.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said:

These rule tweaks will make travelling more straightforward, supporting businesses and families right across Britain – and allow more of us to see friends and loved ones with greater peace of mind.

We’re striking the right balance between keeping people safe which remains our priority and giving them the freedom to exercise personal responsibility, while supporting the travel sector as it continues to recover.

The FCDO advises against travel when it assesses the risk to travelling British nationals to be ‘unacceptably high’, across a range of risks including safety and security. Before the pandemic, this was reserved for fragile states or areas.

A global advisory against all but essential travel to every country and territory was introduced at the start of the pandemic in March 2020. This was lifted in November 2020 and the FCDO has been assessing COVID-19 risks country by country and before today’s changes, advised against travel on COVID-19 grounds to 117 countries and territories.

FCDO travel advice provides objective information to British nationals so they can make decisions about travelling abroad and plan for a trouble-free trip. It is constantly reviewed to ensure it includes up-to-date advice and covers topics such as entry requirements, safety and security issues, health risks and details about local laws and customs.

Travel is different. The FCDO recommends that anyone planning a trip abroad should take the following steps:

check FCDO travel advice for the entry requirements for your destination, including any proof of vaccination you may need, as well as testing and quarantine rules

check what you need to do on return to the UK

know and follow the local COVID-19 rules and restrictions for your destination – there may be limits on group numbers and curfews

plan and prepare in-case you test positive overseas – take more cash, medication and essentials. You must follow local advice regarding self-isolation, and you may need to stay longer than planned

sign up for travel advice email alerts so you automatically receive the latest travel advice updates for the destinations you want to know about

get travel insurance or check your existing policy, particularly for coronavirus related cover

If you are travelling to Europe, check your E/GHIC and ensure your travel insurance covers you for healthcare

Background

FCDO will lift its advisory against all but essential travel to:

Algeria, America Samoa, Armenia, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Comoros, Congo, Tokelau & Niue, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, French Polynesia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kosovo, Liberia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Solomon Islands, Togo, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu

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