Foreign travel advice

Colombia

Important Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel

It is illegal to travel abroad from the UK for holidays. Follow current COVID-19 rules where you live: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In England, you must have a permitted reason to travel abroad and complete the declaration form.

Some countries have closed borders, and any country may further restrict travel or bring in new social distancing rules with little warning. Check our advice for each country you will visit or transit through.

When you return, follow the rules to enter the UK from abroad (except from Ireland).

Summary

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advise against all but essential travel to:

the whole of Colombia based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks

In addition and for security reasons the FCDO advise against all but essential travel to:

  • the departments of Arauca and Guaviare (except their capital cities)
  • the department of Chocó (except its capital Quibdó, the whale-watching towns of Nuquí and Bahía Solano, and the tourist site of Capurganá)
  • the Ariari region of southern Meta (except the tourist site of Caño Cristales - if travelling to Caño Cristales, travel by air to and from the town of La Macarena with a reputable tour company)
  • the South Pacific, Sanquianga and Telembi regions of Nariño
  • the Western region of Cauca
  • Buenaventura in the department of Valle del Cauca
  • the Urabá and Bajo Cauca regions of Antioquia
  • the region of Southern-Bolívar
  • the region of Southern-Córdoba
  • the Catatumbo region of Norte de Santander
  • Orito, San Migue, Valle del Guamuez, Puerto Caicedo, Puerto Guzmán, Puerto Asis and Puerto Leguizamo in Putumayo
  • Cartagena del Chairá, San Vicente del Caguan, Puerto Rico, El Doncello, Paujil and La Montañita in Caquetá
  • the municipality of Puerto Carreño in Vichada, except the departmental capital
  • within 5km of the Venezuelan border and within 5km of the Ecuadorian border, except for the border crossing on the Pan-American highway, at Ipiales.

From 4am on 15 January, visitors who have been in or transited through Colombia in the previous 10 days cannot enter the UK. British and Irish nationals, and third country nationals with residence rights in the UK arriving in England from Colombia will be required to quarantine in a hotel. Different requirements 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 is subject to entry restrictions

Following the announcement on 20 December by the Colombian Government to restrict flights to and from the UK you cannot enter Colombia if your journey started in the UK, but there are some exceptions to this (see Entry requirements). Direct flights to and from London have been suspended until further notice.

Preparing for your return journey to the UK

If you’re returning to the UK from overseas, you will need to:

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 pandemic and sign up for email alerts for this travel advice.

If you’re travelling to Colombia during coronavirus, see the Coronavirus page for more information.

During the COVID-19 pandemic it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check your cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.

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

There have been large scale protests in recent months which could recur at any time. These demonstrations can be confrontational and may turn violent. A number of people have been killed and injured. You should remain vigilant, avoid all demonstrations, and monitor local media for the latest information.

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Colombia. The security situation can change very quickly in many areas of the country. You should pay close attention to warnings issued by the Colombian authorities. See Terrorism

Despite high levels of crime, most visits to Colombia are trouble-free. See Crime

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. Consular support is limited in parts of Colombia where we advise against all but essential travel and areas where there is a limited state presence. When consular support is unavailable, the British Embassy will liaise with local authorities to request assistance.

If you need to contact the emergency services, call 123 (in Spanish).

UK health authorities have classified Colombia as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For more information and advice, visit the website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

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.