| 10.3°C Belfast

Foreign Office advises against travel to more than 30 countries

FCO guidance as of Monday morning advises against all but essential travel to many countries.

Close

Members of Indonesian Red Cross prepare to disinfect a school in the wake of coronavirus outbreak in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, March 16, 2020 (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

Members of Indonesian Red Cross prepare to disinfect a school in the wake of coronavirus outbreak in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, March 16, 2020 (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

Members of Indonesian Red Cross prepare to disinfect a school in the wake of coronavirus outbreak in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, March 16, 2020 (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

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 issued 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.

Here is a rundown on the latest guidance:

– China

The FCO advises against all travel to Hubei province due to the outbreak, and against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China. If you are in China and able to leave, the FCO says you should do so.

– United States

On March 14, the US government extended an existing European travel ban to the UK and Ireland, with the exception of returning US citizens and legal residents.

The FCO subsequently updated its advice on March 15 and advises against all but essential travel to the whole country.

The update was a way for the British government to officially inform its citizens about the extension of the ban and advise that they should not travel.

– Canada

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday the country would be partially closing its borders in response to Covid-19.

Non-Canadian citizens will be refused entry, although US citizens are exempt from the ban.

Also exempt are permanent residents, immediate family of Canadian citizens, diplomats and aircrew.

– Italy

The FCO advises against all but essential travel to all of Italy, including Sicily and Sardinia. Authorities in Italy have advised against travel for tourism purposes and said tourists already on holiday in Italy should limit their movements to those necessary to return to the place where they live.

Spain

HEALTH Coronavirus Travel
(PA Graphics)

The FCO updated its advice on Spain in the early hours of March 15, advising against all but essential travel to the whole country.

Previously, the Spanish ministry of health declared the areas of Madrid and La Rioja, and the municipalities of La Bastida and Vitoria, and Miranda de Ebro, as places where there is community transmission of coronavirus and the FCO advised against all but essential travel to those regions.

– Denmark

British nationals are advised against all but essential travel to the whole country, after Danish authorities announced they would be closing the borders for a month in response to the pandemic.

Foreign nationals who “do not have a recognised purpose for entering Denmark” will be barred from entry.

– Norway

The department advises against all but essential travel to Norway, after the Norwegian authorities said that all non-resident visitors arriving from countries other than Finland and Sweden would be asked to leave Norway on arrival.

British nationals legally resident in Norway will be allowed to enter the country but must enter self-quarantine for 14 days.

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) and Norwegian Airlines have announced they will be cancelling 80% of their flights from Monday.

The UK government has urged all British nationals in Norway who wish to leave in the near future to consider doing so now while there are still some flights available.

– Montenegro

HEALTH Coronavirus
(PA Graphics)

The FCO is advising against all but essential travel to Montenegro due to the government’s decision to introduce measures including a ban on entry to all foreigners save for freight vehicle drivers and those with a permanent or temporary residence permit to try and contain the spread of coronavirus.

Other measures include the closure of all bars and restaurants, as well as all shops except food shops and pharmacies.

British nationals wishing to leave are urged to do so as soon as possible.

– Slovenia

The Slovenian government has announced the cancellation of air traffic from 11.59pm on Monday, leaving those travelling to the country at risk of becoming stranded.

The Slovenian border with Austria remains open for UK nationals, but the FCO has warned there will be no direct flights between Austria and the UK from midnight on Monday and has advised against all but essential travel.

– Hungary

The Hungarian government has announced a state of emergency and said on Monday it would be closing its borders to all foreigners, with only Hungarian citizens permitted to enter.

The UK government has advised British nationals in Hungary who wish to leave to do so as soon as possible, due to a number of neighbouring countries announcing airport and boarder closures.

– Serbia 

Serbia has temporarily banned entry for foreigners, although its own citizens and those with a temporary or permanent residence permit are still allowed to enter.

All international arrivals who do have permission to enter will be required to self-isolate for at least 14 days, while those arriving from Italy, Romania, Spain, Germany, France, Austria, Slovenia and Greece must self-isolate for 28 days.

The FCO advises against all but essential travel to the country, and asks those wishing to leave to make arrangements to do so as soon as possible.

– Indonesia

The FCO advises against all travel to two parts of the country close to Mount Agung and Mount Sinabung craters due to ongoing volcanic activity.

The department advises against all but essential travel to the rest of the country due to a 14-day quarantine requirement.

– Poland

Poland coronavirus measures
A nurse in protective gear helps a person waiting for a coronavirus test at a contagious diseases hospital in Warsaw (Czarek Sokolowski/AP)

The FCO advises against all but essential travel to the country, owing to restrictions being put in place following the outbreak, which has seen borders closed and border controls introduced.

Non-Polish nationals will only be able to enter the country if they are a spouse or child of a Polish national, hold a Pole’s Card, or otherwise have the right to stay or work in the country.

British nationals aged 70 and over and those with pre-existing health conditions are advised against cruise ship travel.

– Kenya

The FCO advises against all but essential travel to Kenya after authorities there announced measures restricting people, other than Kenyan citizens and resident permit holders, from going if they have travelled through countries affected by coronavirus, including the UK.

The restrictions will come into effect from Tuesday.

– Greece 

From Monday, everyone arriving in Greece from abroad is required to self-isolate for 14 days. The government has also prohibited the docking of cruise ships and sail boats in Greek ports.

All cafes, bars and restaurants have been ordered to close, along with shopping centres, cinemas and theatres as well as the majority of leisure and sporting activities.

Supermarkets, bakeries, pharmacies and takeaway food services continue to operate.

– Cyprus

The FCO has advised against all but essential travel to Cyprus. They have advised people to follow the advice of the Cypriot authorities, including leaving their tourist accommodation by March 21. All hotels and tourist accommodation have been instructed to close by Saturday until April 30. A state of emergency was declared in the country on Sunday.

– South Africa

The FCO advises against all but essential travel to South Africa following restrictions announced limiting who can enter the country.

Authorities said travellers from high-risk countries, including the UK and US, would not be permitted to enter the country from March 18.

Visitors from high-risk countries, including the UK, who have entered the country since mid-February will be required to present themselves for testing.

The FCO also advises against all but essential travel to Argentina, Albania, Burma, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Kosovo, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Malawi, Malta, Morocco, Mongolia, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, San Marino, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.

The department cites partial or complete border closures due to Covid-19 as the reason for the warnings for Albania, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, San Marino, Slovakia, and Sri Lanka.

Spain Virus Outbreak
A pharmacist fixes a banner reading in Catalan, ‘no masks, no alcohol, no clear hand gel’ in a pharmacy in Barcelona (Emilio Morenatti/AP)

Potential issues with flights due to restrictions and cancellations are referenced in the advice for Argentina, Morocco, Mongolia, Paraguay, Peru and Philippines.

The risk of being placed into a quarantine is given as the reason for the advice for Burma, Estonia, Indonesia, Liberia, Malawi, Malta, Sierra Leone and Vietnam.

Travellers are advised against all but essential travel to parts of Portugal and South Korea.

The FCO advises against all but essential travel to the Portuguese archipelagos of Madeira and the Azores and the South Korean cities of Daegu, Cheongdo and Gyeongsan which have been designated “special care zones” by authorities due to outbreaks.

France Virus Outbreak
Tourist attractions around the world have been shuttered due to the Covid-19 outbreak (Christophe Ena/AP)

The FCO has not currently advised British nationals not to travel to France, which has reported more than 4,000 cases to the WHO.

Restaurants, schools, universities, cafes, theatres and non-essential shops, have been closed, gatherings of more than 100 people have been banned and tourist attractions have been shuttered.

In New Zealand, arrivals from countries other than China and Iran will have to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival, the department said. Foreign nationals arriving from China or Iran will not be allowed to enter the country.

PA