This week’s round-up of notifications from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) features important information for travellers visiting Thailand, Philippines, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, and many more popular destinations.
Severe flooding and landslides have been reported in some regions. Heavy showers are expected to continue through the end of May.
The Pan-American Highway is currently closed in southern Cauca due to a landslide. Severe flooding is affecting four municipalities in western Nariño. New flooding events are likely to occur in Cauca and Nariño.
Pay close attention to the warnings issued by the Colombian Authorities.
|Sri Lanka||22/4/2019||Summary and Terrorism section – updated information and advice about the threat from terrorism, reflecting an increased threat.|
On Monday 22 April at around 5pm local time a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck north eastern Luzon. You should follow the advice of local security authorities and monitor local media reports.
On 21 April 2019 bombs were used to attack three churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka, in central Colombo, and in the northern suburb of Colombo Kochchikade, and roughly twenty miles north of Colombo in Negombo and in the east of the country in Batticaloa.
There have been significant casualties. If you are in Sri Lanka and you are safe, we advise that you contact family and friends to let them know that you are safe.If you are in Sri Lanka and have been directly affected by the attacks, please call the main number for the Embassy in Colombo: +94 11 5390639, follow the phone message, and select the emergency option from where you will be connected to one of our consular staff.
If you’re in the UK and worried about British friends or family in Sri Lanka caught up in the incidents, please call the FCO switchboard number: 020 7008 1500 and follow the same steps.
Strike action by Portuguese fuel tank drivers ended on 18 April; until the availability of fuel returns to normal, travel within Portugal may be affected.
Summary and Safety and security (Political situation) – Legislative elections will take place on 28 April 2019; protests may be scheduled ahead of the elections and on election day; you should remain vigilant during this period, avoid crowds and demonstrations, monitor local media and follow the advice of local authorities.
Entry requirements section (Visas) – the Department of Immigration & Emigration has announced that visas on arrival will be issued free of charge for British nationals on short visits between 1 May 2019 and 1 October 2019.
Health section – addition of information on cluster of cholera cases at Nairobi Hospital.
Safety and security section (Air travel) – revised information on TAGG.
Updated information and advice about heavy rainfall and severe flooding across Iran.
On 17 April, Jet Airways announced the cancellation of all flights – domestic and international; if you have an existing booking, you should contact Jet Airways to seek further information on alternative arrangements; more information for affected UK passengers is available on the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) website.
Easter is a major holiday in the Philippines; transport can be congested and Philippine security forces also routinely heighten their alert levels nationwide during this period; you should allow extra time if travelling, monitor media reporting and follow the advice of local authorities.
RENFE Spanish railway company workers have announced a strike for 17 April and possibly 24 April; cancellation of trains include some long distance high speed trains (AVE); you should contact RENFE for information.
Strike action by Portuguese fuel tanker drivers since 16 April may cause disruption to flights at Lisbon and Faro airports; if you’re travelling from Lisbon or Faro airport over the coming days, check with your airline for possible delays; travel within Portugal may also be affected by the strike.
Addition of information about several strikes planned throughout April affecting air travel across Spain.
Entry requirements (Passports) – updated information on passport validity.
Safety and security section (Crime) – updated information on recent thefts affecting foreign nationals, including British tourists.
Change in advice against travel; the FCO no longer advises against all but essential travel to the Provinces of Sofala, Zambezia, Manica and Tete; the advice for the districts of Cabo Delgado province remain unchanged.
Safety and security section (Political situation) – revised information on protests.
Entry requirements section (Passport validity) – addition of information relating to EU exit.
Updated information on current period of protests; addition of information on withdrawal of non-essential British Embassy staff and dependents.
Entry requirements section (Passports) – revised information on passport validity.
Advice on staying safe during the Songkran Water Festival (12 to 16 April); update on traffic disruption around events to mark the Royal Coronation Ceremony (2 to 6 May)
The 125th Canton Fair takes place from 15 April to 5 May in Guangzhou; if you’re travelling to China for the Canton Fair, check our dedicated information and advice page.
Health section – The police have discovered widespread distribution of fake medicines in Bolivia; you should ask your travel agent, doctor or hotel for recommendations on reputable pharmacies.
Safety and security section and Summary – the FCO now advise against all but essential travel to Khartoum and all remaining areas of Sudan; advice against all travel to Darfur, Abyei, South Kordofan and Blue Nile, parts of West Kordofan, and border areas remains unchanged; if you’re in Sudan, you should consider carefully whether your need to remain is essential and consider leaving the country by commercial means
|St Martin and St Barthélemy||11/4/2019||
Entry requirements section (Visas) – updated information on visa requirements for British Citizen and British Overseas Territories Citizen passport holders travelling to St Martin from Anguilla, which will be unaffected by the UK leaving the European Union with or without a deal.
Updated information on flights, reflecting that certain flight routes or airports continue to experience restrictions; addition of information about the availability of consular support.
Summary and Safety and security section (Political situation) – Presidential elections will take place on 4 July 2019; country-wide demonstrations and other forms of protest are continuing; you should take precautions for your personal safety, avoid political gatherings and demonstrations and take local advice.
Safety and security (Crime) – There has been an increase in the level of reported crime against both expatriates and nationals in the Bole and Yeka hills areas of Addis Ababa; you should familiarise yourself with the geography if travelling in these areas and exercise caution; if threatened, hand over your valuables without resistance; don’t travel alone in these areas if possible.
Safety and security section and summary – updated information and advice on occurrences of power cuts.
The FCO continue to advise against all travel to within 80 km (50 miles) of the Colombian border and 40 km (25 miles) of the Brazilian border, and against all but essential travel to the rest of Venezuela, including Caracas.
If you’re in Venezuela, you should consider carefully whether you need to remain, and keep your departure options under review; Entry requirements section (Passport validity) – update to information on passport validity requirements
Tropical Cyclone Idai caused significant flooding and mud slides across many parts of eastern Zimbabwe; whilst the access situation has improved, many roads and bridges in the affected areas are still impassable; electricity, water, and telecommunications networks have been impacted; if travelling to affected regions, take extra care and follow any advice given by the local authorities; contact your hotel prior to travel to check that the hotel is still accessible and open.
Entry requirements section (Visas) – addition of information about the current visa policy for British Citizens, which may change if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
Summary and Safety and security (Political situation) – on 8 April 2019, Mitiga airport closed temporarily following an airstrike; flights are likely to be cancelled at short notice.
If you’re concerned about terrorism affecting your travel plans, you can top up your travel insurance to cover terrorism – including disinclination to travel* – from only £5.17 per person!**
Remember that this information is subject to change at any time, so it’s a good idea to check the FCO website and local news for your travel route and destination before you book – and before you depart.
*Disinclination to travel applies if an act of terrorism takes place within a 40-mile radius of your travel route or destination, up to 6 weeks before your departure. Please read our Policy Wording for full details of cover provided by Safe Journey, as well as terms, conditions and exclusions.
**£5.17 per person applies to a single trip of up to 8 days – whether you’re travelling locally or internationally. Single trip cover is available for trips of up to 180 days continuous travel, worldwide (£53.73 pp). Annual Multi-Trip cover is also available from £15.66 per person.