News & Media

FCO Travel Advice Update : Belarus

FCO Travel Advice Update : Belarus

The FCO have updated that for Belarus from 12 February 2017, all British National passport holders can enter Belarus for a maximum of 5 days without a visa; entry and exit will only be allowed at Minsk International Airport. All will be required to show documentary evidence of medical insurance to the value of 10,000 Euros and evidence of funds equivalent to 25 Euros per day. This can be in the form of cash, credit card or travellers cheques in any currency. When one is travelling immediately from/to a Russian airport visa will be needed.

The overall level of the advice has not changed. There are no restrictions within the advice.

Gambia Political Situation

Gambia Political Situation

The ABTA Destinations has updated Political situation of Gambia. As previously advised there is a risk of possible unrest in the lead up to the Gambian Presidential handover date of 18th/19th January 2017. It is understood the current President Jammeh should hand over power to the President elect Adama Barrow at midnight 18th /19th after the Gambian Chief Justice Emmanuel Fagbenle declined to hear the case filed by President Jammeh who was seeking to annul the inauguration of President-elect, due to a lack of judges. Local media report that the Gambian Ministers for Finance, Foreign Affairs, Trade and the Environment have today resigned from President Jammeh's government in advance of the handover of power. Some reports suggest that President Jammeh has just declared a 90 day State of Emergency and may refuse to step down. It is understood in a televised announcement, Mr Jammeh has stated that said "any acts of disobedience to the laws The Gambia, incitement of violence and acts intended to disturb public order and peace" are banned under the state of emergency. He said security forces were instructed to "maintain absolute peace, law and order" and denounced foreign interference in the Gambia's election.

Given the political uncertainty at this time, Members with programmes in the region are advised to liaise with their handling agents and staff locally to obtain the latest information regarding the political situation and any impacts to their programme and put contingency measures in place as a precaution. Customers should be updated accordingly. We will update our bulletin board regularly.

FCO Travel Advice Updates – Afghanistan

Florida: Fort Lauderdale Airport Shooting Incident

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have updated the travel advice for Afghanistan with an update to the Safety & Security section. On 10 January 2017, two explosions took place near the Parliament buildings in Kabul; killing about 50 and injuring more than 100; further explosions took place in Kandahar and Lashgar Gar. The first was believed to be a body-borne suicide attack, followed shortly by a car bomb. The attacks took place at rush-hour killing about 50 and injuring more than 100. On 10 January 2017, an explosion took place in the Provincial Governor’s compound in Kandahar. The attack left eleven people dead, including the Deputy Provincial Governor, five Emirati diplomats, an Afghan MP and an Afghan official. An attacker also detonated a suicide vest in a guest house in Lashkar Gah used by the provincial National Security Directorate (NDS). Eight people were reportedly killed, including four members of the NDS. The overall level of the advice has not changed, and there are restrictions in place including movements to Kapisa; Kunar; Nangahar; Laghman; Nuristan; Ghazni; Khost; Paktika; Paktiya; Logar Wardak;Kandahar; Uruzgan; Zabul; Helmand; Nimroz; Badghis; Farah; Faryab; Jowzjan; Badakhshan; Baghlan; Kunduz and Takhar. There are advise against all travel to the following specific districts of Kabul (Surobi district); Parwan (Charikar City, Bagram, Ghorband/Siaghird, Jabal Saraj, Kohi Saraj, Salang, Sayed Khel and Shinwari districts); Daikundi (Gizab and Kajran districts); Ghor (Dolina/ Du Layna and Pasaband districts); Herat (Shindand district); Balkh (Chaharbolak, Chamtal/Chimtal, Daulat Abad/Dawalatabad, Hairatan Port, Kaldar and Shortipa/Shur Tapa/Shor Tepah districts); Sar-e-Pul (Sar-e-Pul City and Sayad districts). The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to all other provinces and districts of Afghanistan.

Florida: Fort Lauderdale Airport Shooting Incident

Florida: Fort Lauderdale Airport Shooting Incident

It is being reported that five people have been killed and eight injured in the shooting incident which happened at the baggage claim area in Terminal 2 of the airport. All flights to and from Fort Lauderdale have been suspended and the airport remains closed. Other airports in Florida say their services are running as normal but with an increased police presence, and Miami Airport has introduced enhanced security measures "out of an abundance of caution". Members with interests in the region should liaise with their sources, ground agents and staff to establish, if any of their customers were affected by this incident, check on their welfare and offer assistance as appropriate. Members are requested to liaise with their airlines regarding flight operations in and out of Fort Lauderdale and receive updates accordingly.

Travel Advice Update: Kazakhstan

Travel Advice Update: Kazakhstan

The travel advice for Kazakhstan with an update to the Summary and Entry Requirements section says one can travel to Kazakhstan without a visa, provided the stay does not exceed 30 days; if one wishes to stay longer than 30 days, he or she will need a visa. The summary says:

" Until 31 December 2017, you can travel to Kazakhstan without a visa, provided your stay does not exceed 30 days (the day you arrive counts as day 1, regardless of arrival time). If you wish to stay longer than 30 days, you’ll need a visa. You should contact your nearest Embassy of Kazakhstan for further information. "

British Airways - Unite Industrial Action: Initial Advice ABTA Advisory

British Airways

Following planned industrial action by British Airways cabin crew, the Trade Union Unite has announced that it intends to hold industrial action involving one of British Airways five cabin crew fleets on Tuesday 10th and Wednesday 11th January 2017.

A statement issued by British Airways is below for your reference:

British Airways Statement

Threatened industrial action announced. The trade union Unite has announced that it intends to hold industrial action involving one of our five cabin crew fleets on Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 January 2017. We are extremely disappointed that Unite has once again chosen to target our customers and are looking to ensure that all of our customers, with bookings on those two days, will travel to their destinations.

Details about our contingency plans are to be announced on Friday 6 January 2017.

British Airways remains focused on resolving this issue as quickly as possible.

Regards,
British Airways

Members are advised to monitor airline information related to this strike action and liaise with their handling agents and resort teams to establish what impacts this strike action may have on their programmes and what contingency measures they have put in place for changes to flight schedules. Customers should be updated accordingly. Customers due to travel during the strike period, are advised to liaise with British Airways regarding any changes to their flight schedules. We will continue to monitor and provide updates accordingly.

Travel Advice South Asia

South Asia

The FCO have updated the travel advice for India with an update to the Summary - Update on demonetisation. Withdrawal limits are raised to 4,500 per card per day, however foreign tourists can still withdraw their daily card limit. Updated terrorism information. The relevant extract of the advice is below for your reference:

Summary

On 8 November, 2016, the Indian Prime Minister announced that existing 500 and 1,000 Rupee banknotes will be withdrawn from immediate circulation. Banks will no longer accept these notes for exchange, but will accept deposit of these notes into customer accounts until 30 December 2016. New 500 and 2,000 rupee notes are in circulation but you may find that they are in short supply and businesses may not be able to provide you with lower denomination notes in change.

Some ATMs are now operating. There may be queues to access them especially around the end of the month when salaries are paid. Until further notice withdrawals are limited to 4,500 rupees per card, per day, however foreign tourists can withdraw their normal daily card limit. If you have debit or credit cards, use them instead of cash where possible. Foreign tourists will be able to exchange foreign currency or old notes of not more than 5,000 rupees per week into legal tender. For more information visit the Reserve Bank of India website.

Foreign tourists can also go to banks or any authorised foreign exchange dealer and in exchange for cash in foreign currency can be issued with a pre-paid card which can be used as a payment card at all businesses and retailers that usually accept credit and debit cards. For more information, see the Reserve Bank of India website.

There is a high threat from terrorism throughout India. Recent attacks have targeted public places including those visited by foreigners. There have been recent media reports suggesting Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL) interest in attacking targets in India. There may be an increased threat to places visited by British nationals such as religious sites, markets and festival venues. You should be vigilant at this time, monitor local media and take all precautions for your safety. See Terrorism

The overall level of the advice has not changed. There are no restrictions within the advice.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel in the immediate vicinity of the border with Pakistan, other than at Wagah.

The FCO advise against all travel to Manipur and against all but essential travel to Imphal, the state capital of Manipur. See Local travel

The FCO advise against all travel to Jammu and Kashmir with the exception of (i) travel within the city Jammu, (ii) travel by air to the city of Jammu, (iii) travel within the region of Ladakh. The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the city of Srinagar and travel between the cities of Jammu and Srinagar on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway. The tourist destinations of Phalgam, Gulmarg and Sonamarg fall within the areas to which the FCO advise against all travel. See Local travel and Terrorism

View the travel advice in full here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/india

Travel Advice Chile

Chile

Travel advice for Chile: there is a major forest fire on the outskirts of Valparaiso; if you’re in the area, you should consult the local authorities for advice and further information. The overall level of the advice has not changed. There are no restrictions within the advice.

Nepal – FCO Travel Advice Update

Nepal

The FCO have updated the travel advice for Nepal with an update to the Summary – a general strike in the Kathmandu valley on 4 January 2017 may disrupt transport; you should monitor local media and plan your travel accordingly. The relevant extract of the advice is below for your reference:

Summary

A general strike planned by the Kathmandu Valley Road Widening Affected Struggle Committee for 4 January 2017 may disrupt transport in the Kathmandu Valley area. You should monitor local media and plan your travel accordingly

The overall level of the advice has not changed. There are no restrictions within the advice. View the travel advice in full here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/nepal

Travel Advice Bahrain

Bahrain

FCO updated travel advice for Bahrain-There has been a security incident at Jau prison on 1 January 2017, leading to the escape of several prisoners. As a result, there is an increased security presence in Bahrain. British nationals are strongly advised to comply with the instructions of Bahraini authorities. The relevant extract of the advice is below for your reference:

The overall level of the advice has not changed. There are no restrictions within the advice.

Travel Advice Turkey

Turkey

The ABTA Destinations team continue to monitor the security incident at the Reina night club in Istanbul, Turkey. News streams are reporting that at least 39 people, including at least 15 foreigners, have been killed in the attack. The gunman, who is believed to have acted alone, is still at large and efforts continue in the search for the attacker.The nationalities of those affected have not been confirmed, and at this time it is not known whether any British Nationals have been affected. Members with customers in the region are advised to liaise with their ground agents and staff to establish if their customers have been affected by the incident, check on their welfare and offer assistance as appropriate. Customers in the region are advised to avoid the area and follow the advice of local authorities or their accommodation providers.

Travel Advice Bolivia

Bolivia

The FCO has updated the travel advice for Bolivia with amendments to the Summary – blockades in the city of Uyuni are currently affecting main roads and public transport; Uyuni airport is open, but access is only on foot; food supplies in the town are beginning to be affected; follow the advice of the local authorities and don’t attempt to cross blockades

Summary

Blockades in the city of Uyuni are currently affecting main roads and public transport. Uyuni airport is open, but access is only on foot. Food supplies in the town are beginning to be affected. Follow the advice of the local authorities and don’t attempt to cross blockades.

Severe water shortages are affecting the majority of La Paz, some neighborhoods of El Alto and other cities. The situation is expected to continue in the short term. You should check with your hotel about their water supply before travelling. Local authorities have advised that water should be boiled and filtered before consumption The overall level of advice has not changed and there are no travel restrictions in place

The full travel advice for Bolivia can be accessed via this link: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/bolivia

Nepal Notification

Nepal

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have updated the travel advice for Nepal with an update to the Summary – general strikes may cause severe disruptions to public and private transport in Pyuthan and Rolpa districts (from 15 to 18 December) and Arghankhanchi, Gulmi, Palpa, Nawalparasi, Kapilvastu, Rupendehi, Dang, Banke and Bardiya districts (16, 17 and 18 December); UK government staff in Nepal have been advised to avoid these areas during this period; monitor local media and plan your travel accordingly. The relevant extract of the advice is below for your reference:

Summary

There’s severe disruption to public and private transport in the following districts due to general strikes: Pyuthan and Rolpa (from 15-18 December) and Arghankhanchi, Gulmi, Palpa, Nawalparasi, Kapilvastu, Rupendehi, Dang, Banke and Bardiya (16, 17 and 18 December). UK government staff in Nepal have been advised to avoid these areas during this period. Monitor local media and plan your travel accordingly.

The overall level of the advice has not changed. There are no restrictions within the advice. View the travel advice in full here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/nepal

France

France

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have updated the travel advice for France with an update to the Summary - the French government has extended the national state of emergency until 15 July 2017. The relevant extract of the advice is below for your reference:

Summary

The French government has extended the national state of emergency until 15 July 2017. Check the French government’s advice about what to do if a terrorist attack occurs. See Terrorism.

The overall level of the advice has not changed. There are no restrictions within the advice. View the travel advice in full here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france

United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have updated the travel advice for United Arab Emirates with an update to the Entry Requirements (Visas) section – if you’re a British citizen you can get a visitor’s visa on arrival in the UAE; in the past, this visa has allowed the visitor to stay in the UAE for up to 30 days; the visa has terminated automatically on departure and a new visa issued on arrival each time the same visitor returns to the UAE; that approach continues to be applied in most cases, but in some cases British citizens (and visitors of some other nationalities) who have left the UAE and returned again within the 30 day period of stay granted at the time of the first arrival, haven’t received a new visa; instead their stay has been limited to the initial 30 day period. The relevant extract of the advice is below for your reference:

Entry Requirement - Visa

If you’re a British citizen you can get a visitor’s visa on arrival in the UAE. In the past, this visa has allowed the visitor to stay in the UAE for up to 30 days. The visa has terminated automatically on departure and a new visa issued on arrival each time the same visitor returns to the UAE.

That approach continues to be applied in most cases, but in some cases British citizens (and visitors of some other nationalities) who have left the UAE and returned again within the 30 day period of stay granted at the time of the first arrival, haven’t received a new visa. Instead their stay has been limited to the initial 30 day period.

The British Embassy has sought, but not yet received, the UAE authorities’ clarification of the status and application of this different approach.

If you have any questions on the validity or expiry of your visa please contact UAE Immigration directly in Dubai on 04-3980000 or in Abu Dhabi on 02-4024500 , or contact the nearest UAE Embassy for advice.

The overall level of the advice has not changed. There are no restrictions within the advice. View the travel advice in full here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/united-arab-emirates

Jordan

Jordan

The FCO travel advice for Jordan has been amended in the summary section - The British embassy in Amman is urgently following up reports of a shooting incident at Karak on 18 December 2016. British nationals in the area should follow the instructions of the Jordanian authorities. The overall level of advice has not changed.

Please see the relevant extract below:

The British embassy in Amman is urgently following up reports of a shooting incident at Karak on 18 December 2016. British nationals in the area should follow the instructions of the Jordanian authorities.

To see the article in full, please click on the link below:https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/jordan

Congo

Congo

The FCO travel advice for Democratic Republic of the Congo has been amended in the summary - reports of increased military presence in Kinshasa and other major cities. In the event of serious unrest schools may be shut, telecommunications cut, commercial flights suspended and borders closed. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The overall level of advice has not changed.

Please see the relevant extract below:

Some have been calling for further protests on 19 December 2016. There are reports of an increased military presence in Kinshasa and other major cities, and of stop-and-search checkpoints in some areas. You should be extra vigilant in large cities on and around these days and monitor local media, including radio and social media, and this advice for updates. The situation is difficult to predict, but in the event of serious unrest schools may be shut, telecommunications cut, commercial flights suspended and borders closed.

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/democratic-republic-of-the-congo

Tsunami Warning Papua New Guinea

The FCO travel advice has been amended for the following countries relating to the Tsunami warning. The overall levels of advice have not changed:

Please see the relevant extract below:

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 8.0 occurred in the New Ireland region of Papua New Guinea at 1051 UTC on Saturday 17 December 2016. Widespread tsunami waves are possible. You should follow the instructions of local authorities, bearing in mind that a tsunami could arrive within minutes.

Use of Kazak Airlines

The FCO travel advice has been amended in the summary and also in the safety and security section - On 6 December 2016, all Kazakh airlines were removed from the list of airlines banned from operating to/from the European Union. Our advice nevertheless remains against using any Kazakh airline other than Air Astana. The overall level of advice has not changed.
Please see the relevant extract below:

On 6 December 2016, all Kazakh airlines were removed from the list of airlines banned from operating to/from the European Union. Our advice nevertheless remains against using any Kazakh airline other than Air Astana, pending clarification as to the requirements for international and domestic flights which are offered by other Kazakh airlines. UK government staff in Kazakhstan are advised not to use any Kazakh airline other than Air Astana for domestic and international flights.

The International Air Transport Association publishes a list of registered airlines that have been audited and found to meet a number of operational safety standards and recommended practices. This list is not exhaustive and the absence of an airline from this list does not necessarily mean that it is unsafe.

In 2009 an audit of Kazakhstan’s Civil Aviation Authority by the International Civil Aviation Organisation found that the level of implementation of the critical elements of safety oversight in Kazakhstan was below the global average.

A list of incidents and accidents in Kazakhstan can be found on the website of the Aviation Safety network.

To see the article in full, please click on the link below:
https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/kazakhstan/safety-and-security