*Stock photo, image taken well before social distancing measures came into effect.
International Travel Advice
As countries respond to the Coronavirus pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice. If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available. Many airlines have suspended flights and many airports are closed, preventing flights from leaving.
"I recognise that many British tourists abroad are finding it difficult to return to the UK because of the unprecedented international travel and domestic restrictions that are being introduced around the world – often with very little or no notice.
"In Parliament, I asked the Foreign Secretary what actions the Government is taking to help those stuck in India and Pakistan get the medication they need and return home. I was informed that the Government is working around the clock to support British travellers, in order to allow them to come back to the UK." - Stuart Anderson MP.
As of 11th May 2020, more than 30,000 British travellers had been returned to the UK on 142 special Government charter flights from 27 different countries and territories since the outbreak of coronavirus.
If you are currently travelling abroad, you should return to the UK as soon as possible if commercial flights are available. If you cannot return home at this time, read the Government's guidance on waiting to return to the UK.
If you’re travelling abroad, you should:
- contact your airline or travel company now
- The Government is working in partnership with the airline industry to help British people travelling abroad to return to the UK.
- If you are in a country where UK-bound flights are still available, book or rebook your flight and return home as soon as possible. Airlines are responsible for getting their passengers with pre-booked tickets home from countries where commercial flights are still operating.
- keep up-to-date with the Government's travel advice pages.
- Where commercial flights are not available, you may be eligible for a special charter flight. You should check the ‘Return to the UK’ section of your country’s travel advice page to see if a flight is available. See also the Government's general guide to the booking process for special charter flights.
- for real-time updates, follow the UK Government's embassy or high commission’s social media for the country you’re in
- If there are no commercial or special charter flights for the country you’re in, follow the guidance in the ‘Staying during coronavirus’ section of that country’s travel advice and see the Government's guide to staying where you are if you cannot return home.
- If you cannot afford the cost of a flight to return, and have exhausted all other funding options, you may be eligible to apply for an emergency loan from the Government:
- If you are concerned about risks to your health, for example you are following UK or local guidance to shield or self-isolate, you may wish to seek professional health advice locally or from your usual doctor in the UK.
- Read further advice on avoiding infection during your journey home and preventive measures to take on your return.
- The rules for entering or returning to the UK are changing on 8 June.
- Until 7 June
- When you return to the UK from a flight from another country, go straight home, avoiding public transport where possible.
- If you can, wear a face covering if you need to use public transport, and see safer travel guidance for passengers.
- Only people living in your household should collect you on arrival.
- If you start to have symptoms (e.g. a continuous cough, high temperature, loss of or change in your sense of taste or smell), you must go straight home, self-isolate for 7 days and arrange to have a test to see if you have Coronavirus. Call NHS 111 if your symptoms worsen.
- From 8 June, there will be new rules for entering or returning to the UK. You will:
- need to provide your journey and contact details when you travel to the UK
- not be allowed to leave the place you’re staying for the first 14 days you’re in the UK except in very limited situations
- If you are planning to arrive back in the UK on or after 8 June, you must read the guidance on entering the UK from 8 June.
- Until 7 June
- If you have immigration enquiries, you need to contact either the local immigration authorities in the country or their UK-based embassy.
- If you are concerned about a friend or family member who is currently overseas, you should read the country-specific travel advice and sign up for email alerts.
- For further information, visit the Government's website:
- Guidance for British citizens travelling abroad
- What you need to do if you’re travelling to the UK
- Foreign travel advice for each country
- Get support if you’re waiting to return to the UK
- Essential international travel guidance
- Guidance for visa applicants in the UK and abroad
- French border restrictions.
Using Public Transport
As the Prime Minister set out, those who cannot work from home and must travel to work should avoid using public transport as much as possible. We need to ensure our public transport is there for those people who work in our NHS and other key roles. If you absolutely need to use public transport, the Government has published new guidance for operators and passengers on how to keep as safe as possible.
Advice for passengers can be found here. It recommends:
- keeping 2 metres apart from others wherever possible
- wearing a face covering if you can
- using contactless payment where possible
- avoiding rush hour travel where feasible
- washing or sanitising your hands as soon as possible before and after travel
- following advice from staff and being considerate to others
Pop-up bike lanes with protected space for cycling, wider pavements, safer junctions, and cycle and bus-only corridors will be created in England within weeks as part of a £250 million emergency active travel fund - the first stage of a £2 billion investment. We hope the plans will encourage more people to choose alternatives to public transport when they need to travel and make choosing healthier habits easier.
Personal Travel Information:
- Theory tests are currently suspended due to coronavirus, but you can apply for an emergency theory test if you’re a critical worker.
- Your car, van or motorcycle’s MOT expiry date will be extended by 6 months if it’s due on or after 30 March 2020 – but you must keep your vehicle safe to drive.
- Anyone holding an advance ticket will be able to refund it free of charge.
- All season ticket holders can claim a refund for time unused on their tickets.
- Ticket holders should contact their retailer for details.
Page Last Updated: 30/05/2020.