Recent events have shaken us all. Here is the latest information on the situations in France, Germany, and other parts of the world, as of the morning of 25 July.
Wherever you are, and however you have been affected by these terrible events, we wish you strength and safety, and we will continue to provide information and insights to help you make informed decisions for a safer journey.
It’s impossible to predict where and when an act of terrorism will take place in our changing world, but if we live in fear the terrorists win – so plan, be prepared, and keep tabs on your proposed destination. Keep your eyes open wherever you go, avoid potentially dangerous situations such as disorganised crowds, and report any suspicious items or activity immediately.
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issues advice against all travel, or against all but essential travel, to areas it considers dangerous. If we refer to “advice against travel” this could mean all but essential travel or all travel. In either case, you don’t want to go there!
Remember that if you ignore FCO advice and go anyway, most insurance – including Safe-Journey – would become invalid.
Our deepest sympathies go out to all affected by the shooting at Olympia Shopping Centre in Munich on 22 July
The FCO reports that there are road restrictions around the Shopping Centre, and “Munich public transport has otherwise been restored to normal.” Please note that latest findings indicate that this was a crime committed by an individual and it has not been declared an act of terrorism at this time.
Munich police have issued the following emergency number for those affected and for concerned friends and family: 0049 89 2910 1910
A stabbing attack which took place on 18 July in Wuerzburg, has been identified as terrorism. Anyone with a Safe Journey policy purchased prior to 18 July and scheduled to travel to or through Bavaria before 29 August can make a claim using details found here.
A suicide bomb in Ansbach on 24 July is being considered an act of terrorism until further notice, however additional investigations are being conducted.
The FCO has advised anyone in the Ansbach area to follow the instructions of local authorities and that road restrictions may be in place.
An apparently unrelated attack with a machete took place in the town of Reutlingen, in which one woman was killed and two men injured. Motives have not yet been determined, according to reports by authorities and the BBC, and investigations are underway – it’s possible that this was a “crime of passion”.
General Safety in Germany
There is a high threat of terrorism in Germany and the FCO advises that although there’s no requirement to carry your passport at all times, police are conducting ID checks and may escort you to your hotel to check your passport if you don’t have it on you.
The FCO website also currently advises that: “There’s been considerable disruption to rail, road and ferry transport between Denmark, Sweden, Austria and Germany. The German government has reinstated immigration controls at its borders with Austria. If you’re travelling by road, train or ferry, allow additional time for disruptions, be vigilant and follow the instructions of local authorities. Check with local media and your transport provider for more information.”
Our sympathies once again go out to everyone affected by the tragedy in Nice.
Latest updates from the FCO indicate that there is a high threat from terrorism. “Due to ongoing threats to France by Islamist terrorist groups, and recent French military intervention against Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL), the French government has warned the public to be especially vigilant and has reinforced its security measures.”
The French government has extended the national state of emergency until 26 January 2017. A free app is available to keep track of alerts in up to eight regions of France at a time: search for “SAIP” on the Apple App Store or Google Play. You can also read the French Government’s advice on what to do if an act of terrorism takes place.
As reported in our Travel Alert of 22 July, Turkish authorities say the situation “is calming” following the attempted coup on 15-16 July and that coastal resorts “don’t appear to be affected at present.” The FCO states that “The security environment, however, remains potentially volatile. Flights to, from and through airports in Turkey are returning to normal, although some disruption remains. Check with your airline or travel company before you travel.”
Further gatherings may take place at short notice in Istanbul and Ankara, demonstrations and gatherings may occur at short notice; and the FCO advises vigilance, “particularly in areas where crowds may gather, and stay well away from any demonstrations.”
Enhanced checks for Turkish nationals may lead to delays or long queues at foreign national desks when entering and exiting the country; you should turn up at the airport earlier than normal to get through these delays and carry your passport at all times.
ANY TIME YOU TRAVEL
Wherever you go, make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance appropriate to your journey and destination.
Report any suspicious items or activities, and make sure you know where exits are at any public attractions or areas that you visit. Avoid demonstrations and large, disorganised crowds, and if you think something is wrong, get as far away from the area as possible, as quickly as you can. Don’t stop to take photos!
The information provided here is correct at the time of publication but these situations can change frequently. Please check the latest FCO advice before you book and before you travel to ensure a safer journey.
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