UK advises citizens against all non-essential foreign travel for 30 days

UK citizens have been told not to travel anywhere in the world for at least the next 30 days.

The government has changed its advice to ask people to avoid all "non-essential foreign travel" as it attempts to clampdown on the spread of the coronavirus.

It is the first time the Foreign Office has taken the drastic step to recommend against all travel since the travel advisory system was introduced in 1990.

Making a statement in the House of Commons Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told MPs: "With immediate effect I've taken the decision to advise British nationals against non essential travel globally, for an initial period of 30 days and of course subject to ongoing review."

The Foreign Secretary also said that while the government would do its best to try and help Brits home that it would be "unrealistic" for the UK government to bring all Brits affected home.

Mr Raab, added: “UK travellers abroad now face widespread international border restrictions and lock downs in various countries. The speed and range of those measures across other countries is unprecedented.


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“So I have taken the decision to advise British nationals against all non-essential international travel.”

The FCO has said that whether travel is essential or not is a personal decision and circumstances differ from person to person.

They say those who make the decision to travel should check their travel insurance.

UK inward and outward travel has already fallen by a significant amount since the outbreak of coronavirus. Ryanair, Virgin and EasyJet have cut flights by 80% this month and IAG has decreased capacity by 75%.

In the last week 430 changes have been made to FCO Travel Advice – more than in the entirety of 2019.


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This breaking news story is being updated.

Mr Raab said the Government will issue detailed advice on maintaining the flow of goods to the UK, while protecting staff working on shipping routes.

Mr Raab said: "The Government of course is keenly aware that international freight services such as shipping and haulage are vital for ensuring the continuity of the supply of essential foods, goods and material to the UK.

"So we do regard this kind of travel as essential and we will work with industry to issue detailed advice which maintains the flow of goods whilst protecting the wellbeing of staff who are working on those routes.

"The Department for Transport will be leading this work with the freight sector with the objective of minimising disruption to those routes as far as is possible."

He added: "At the same time, FCO consular teams are working round the clock to provide the best, most up-to-date information that we can possibly provide to UK nationals."

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has affected thousands of people across the globe as the World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported cases in 144 countries, territories or areas.

As a result of Covid-19, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has rapidly been changing travel advice – warning people against visiting certain countries or areas due to restrictions or the risk of quarantine.

FCO travel advice can range from advising against all travel to a whole country to recommending travellers seek advice before travelling to a particular area, based on how safe it is to visit.

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