British expats and tourists stranded overseas should stay put unless they need to travel.
Tens of thousands of Brits abroad have been urged to remain where they are for 30 days – but this time limit could be extended..
Foreign Secretary Dominic Rabb made the announcement explaining international border closures and travel restrictions brings Britain into line with measures in other countries due to the spread of coronavirus.
“UK travellers abroad now face widespread international border restrictions and lockdowns in various countries. The speed and range of those measures across other countries is unprecedented and they are often imposed without consultation or notice,” he said.
Action for marooned expats
This is the first time the Foreign Office has advised against any global travel.
Raab said anyone who considering foreign travel should be “realistic about the level of disruption they are willing and able to endure”.
He added that the government would issue advice on keeping the flow of food and goods to and from the UK going.
Raab said anyone working on shipping routes should continue to do so as their travel was essential.
The Foreign Office also reiterated what to do if you are an expat or traveller marooned outside the UK.
“You must follow the advice of local authorities. Your safety and security is the responsibility of the local authority where you are,” said a Foreign Office spokesman.
“If you wish to leave the country you are in, contact your airline or travel company and your insurance provider as soon as you are able, and keep up to date with the latest developments. International travel may become more difficult. We only organise assisted departure in exceptional circumstances.”
Many countries and territories have set up screening and entry restrictions at border crossings and transport hubs.
“If you have recently been in a country affected by the virus you may need to be quarantined, or you may not be allowed to enter or travel through a third country. If you decide to travel, contact the local immigration authorities or the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country you’re travelling to,” said the spokesman.
The Foreign Office does not define ‘essential’ travel, but leaves the option open to individuals.