Foreign travel advice


Important COVID-19 Travel

Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not travel, including abroad, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. It is illegal to travel abroad for holidays and other leisure purposes.

Check the rules that apply to you in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

If you intend to travel to the UK from abroad, including UK nationals returning home, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival.

Before you return to the UK you must provide your journey and contact details. You must self-isolate when you enter the UK from any foreign country except Ireland, unless you have a valid exemption.

When you enter England from abroad (except Ireland), you must follow the new requirements for quarantining and taking additional COVID-19 tests. For those travelling from a country on the banned travel list you will be required to quarantine in a hotel. Different rules apply for arrivals into England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

If you are legally permitted to travel abroad, check our advice on your country of destination. Some other countries have closed borders, and may further restrict movement or bring in new rules including testing requirements with little warning.


The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to:

  • the whole of Chile based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.

As of 15 January, direct flights from Chile to the UK are prohibited. Visitors who have been in or transited through Chile in the previous 10 days cannot enter England. British and Irish nationals, and third country nationals with residence rights in the UK arriving in England from Chile will be required to quarantine in a hotel. Different rules apply for arrivals into Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

From 1 January onwards people with residence rights include: holders of Indefinite Leave to Remain; holders of existing leave to enter or remain (i.e those with biometric Residence permits) or an entry clearance/visa that grants such leave e.g. students, workers, etc (excluding visit visas); holders of EU Settlement Scheme (“EUSS”) leave; those who have rights of entry under the Withdrawal Agreements (including returning residents with a right of residence under the EEA Regulations and EEA frontier workers); family members of EEA nationals with rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

Travel to Chile is subject to entry restrictions

  • All non-resident foreign nationals - that have been in the United Kingdom during the last 14 days – are not currently permitted to enter Chile. Direct UK-Chile flights have been suspended until further notice. See Coronavirus
  • All other travellers (including Chileans, resident and non-resident foreign nationals) must complete a mandatory 10-day quarantine on arrival in Chile. After day 7, there is an option to take a local PCR test to potentially shorten the quarantine. If the result is negative, quarantine may be lifted. See Coronavirus and Entry Requirements sections)
  • From 7 January 2021, all travellers (including Chileans, resident and non-resident foreign nationals) require a negative PCR test (rapid PCR tests will not be accepted) taken within 72-hours of boarding the flight to enter Chile. The mandatory 10-day quarantine will remain in place
  • You should be aware that Chilean health authorities at Santiago Airport are selecting passengers on arrival for random PCR testing, even when passengers have complied with the requirement to hold a negative PCR test on arrival
  • Travellers arriving at Santiago Airport should be aware that local authorities have put restrictions in place for travelling from Santiago to other regions

See Entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel.

Preparing for your return journey to the UK

If your return journey to the UK transits another country, you should check whether it is subject to a travel ban or any other additional requirements. If so, contact your travel provider.

Check our advice on foreign travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and sign up for email alerts for this travel advice.

If you’re planning travel to Chile, find out what you need to know about coronavirus there in the Coronavirus section.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) guidance on foreign travel insurance.

For information about COVID-19 vaccines, see the Coronavirus page.

Since 25 March, the government of Chile has put in place quarantines within certain communes in Santiago and around the country more generally. See Coronavirus.

If you have enquiries about your current UK visa, please see the guidance for UK visa holders

If you need an Emergency Travel Document, check how to apply

October and November 2019 saw large-scale protests and violence across Chile. Major protests were widely expected to return in March 2020, but incidents were limited, likely owing to the health crisis. Starting in April there were occasional cases of violence and protest in Santiago and other cities. Since July protests and violence have increased in Santiago, with various incidents having occurred, including the use of projectiles against police, flaming barricades and arson attacks against the public transport network by small groups of protesters. The first anniversary of the start of the ‘social crisis’ (October 2020) saw renewed protest and violence ahead of Chile’s constitutional plebiscite held on 25 October. There remains a possibility of protest associated with the country’s two-year constitutional reform process initiated by the plebiscite. You should follow local guidance and avoid protests.

Other cities, including Concepción, Viña del Mar, Valparaíso, and Osorno have also seen sporadic incidents over the past few months. Some protests have seen isolated incidents of the use of small arms by members of the public. If protests take place, you should follow the instructions and advice of the local authorities, remain vigilant, monitor local media for updates and avoid protests and demonstrations. Under Chilean law, foreign nationals visiting or living in Chile could be deported for involvement in protests and demonstrations. See Local laws and customs

Opportunistic street crime can be a problem in towns and cities, and in areas popular with tourists including airports, bus stations and ports. Take care of your personal belongings at all times and be aware of your surroundings. Carry a photocopy of your passport and keep the original document in a safe place. See Crime.

Terrorist attacks in Chile can’t be ruled out. See Terrorism

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

If you need to contact the emergency services, call 131 for an ambulance, 132 for the fire brigade and 133 for police.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.