How to get travel information
In recent times, since the outbreak of the pandemic COVID- 19 viruses, there has been the restriction of movement and travels. Some countries have closed down their borders preventing movement in and out of the country to ensure the spread of the virus is curtailed. In the UK, the Foreign and Common- wealth Office has published a travel advisory notice, urging British citizens travelling abroad to return if commercial flights are still available. The government has also advised people not to travel except it absolutely necessary and important to do so.
Can I return to the UK if I travel abroad?
The UK government is making sure British people travelling abroad can return back into the country by being in contact with local authorities, foreign government including airlines. If you cannot travel back at this time, here is what you can do;
- Ensure you secure accommodation that is suitable for your needs
- Contact your family and friends back at home regularly to reassure them you are safe and well.
- Always follow the medical advice and safety measures to help reduce the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus
- Make sure you are always updated on any current information concerning your departure options, from transport providers and local authorities.
The local authorities of the country you are in are responsible for your safety and security, which is why it is important to adhere to the advice of the local authorities. If you are asked to be quarantined, self-isolate or adopt the social distancing method, for your own protection, you should comply. Also, in situations where there is a suspected case of coronavirus in your vicinity, you will need to stay indoors in your accommodation or hotel room for a period of 14 days or move to a quarantine facility, and also take a test for coronavirus. If a test comes back positive, the individual will have to be hospitalized immediately. The travel company, insurance company or airline provider should be contacted as soon as possible to inform them of the new development.
What can I do if my visa is running out?
For people who travelled abroad for one reason or the other and are unable to return due to the travel and movement ban in some countries relating to the coronavirus outbreak, you might be worried about your visa running out and the steps to take. In some countries, new processes have been provided to help foreign citizens to extend their visa. Make sure to always check the travel advice for the country you are currently in and fulfil the requirements. Contact the local immigration authorities or the UK embassy in that country for immigration enquiries.
British Citizens who are permanent residents abroad
British citizens who are permanent residents in a foreign country should remain in their host country and follow the advice of the local authorities there. The safety measures and information will be available in travel advice pages.
What provisions are made for a British tourist who are stranded abroad
British tourist and travellers are unable to return to the country and are stranded abroad due to the global travel restrictions caused by the pandemic COVID-19 Virus. However, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has announced a new partnership with airlines to help bring back British tourist who are stuck abroad. The UK government has pledged about £75 million to bring back stranded citizens trying to get back home.
Following the new partnership with airlines, Virgin, EasyJet, Titian, Jet2 Airways have signed a memorandum of understanding towards this course. British Airways also pledged to work with the government to help bring people home. The government has decided to come up with a two-way strategy to ensure Brits come back home.
- By making funds available, the UK government will give £75 million as financial support towards arranged flights going to those priority countries and bring back stranded UK residents. These flights will be operated by the Virgin, EasyJet, Jet2, Titan Airways, British Airways and others.
- Airlines will allow British passengers coming back into the country to change their tickets where acceptable. Advice and update of the latest information as situation changes will be communicated across to keep people up to date.
Charter flights have been made available to Tunisia and Ghana, and more flights will be made available to access other countries like South Africa, India amongst other countries where commercial routes are closed and British travellers are stranded. The UK government has assured that they are working intensely to reach out to different countries around the world for permission to send in return flights for British citizens in those countries.
What if there are no commercial routes available?
If you are a British tourist with no way to return back, visit airline websites to check if there are available commercial routes, you can also visit FCO travel advice pages and the British embassy social media for your host countries. if there are no commercial routes, sign up on travel advice pages, and follow the embassy social media and check the email updates regularly. Special return flights will be announced and advertised by the embassy and British nationals on Travel Advice pages and on the Embassy social media when there are available.
If you registered for updates, you will be contacted through email. An emergency loan will be given out by the Foreign Office for people that are financially stranded as well. The FCO call centre is always available, to make sure people with emergencies will be able to call assistance for swiftly. In case of any emergencies, do not hesitate to use the FOC call centre.
Final words, The UK government through the Foreign Secretary has asked countries around the globe to keep airports, airspace and transit hubs open in other for British travellers to return to the UK. Over a hundred thousand tourists from various countries around the world have been successfully brought back into the UK, including 8,500 brits from Morocco, 5,000 from Cyprus and 250,00 from Spain.
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