Foreign travel advice


COVID-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice. If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available. Many airlines are suspending flights and many airports are closing, preventing flights from leaving.

Return to the UK

The UK government is working closely with Indian authorities and airlines to make sure options are available for you to return to the UK as soon as possible. This travel advice will be updated with exact timings and departure locations of flights from India as soon as they are confirmed.

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Once flights have been confirmed, you should leave plenty of time to get to the airport as movement may be more difficult than normal. You should make sure you are able to show authorities:

  • proof of a booked flight (a boarding pass if possible)
  • your passport
  • a (printed, if possible) copy of the British movement letter issued by the British High Commission confirming that you should be allowed to travel

What to do

If you’re currently visiting India and you wish to return urgently to the UK, email with the following details for you and any family members with you:

  • full name
  • date of birth
  • passport number
  • visa status and contact details
  • exact location in India
  • date of arrival in India
  • details of the return flight that you had booked back to the UK, if applicable
  • any special circumstances we may need to be aware of, such as a medical condition

Due to the high number of emails, we will be unable to send an individual response to everyone

Next steps

You should be prepared to stay in India until commercial flights resume.

  • you will need to be ready to comply with local isolation, testing or quarantine requirements, and to rely on the local health system.
  • unless you have an urgent reason to travel within India, you may need to stay where you are whilst the flight ban and lockdowns remain in place
  • many additional restrictions are being introduced at state level. Some states have entry restrictions in place and may quarantine foreign nationals on arrival. Hotels in some states have been instructed to refuse entry to foreign nationals

The situation remains fluid. You should continue to monitor the local advice on any state level restrictions and follow the instructions of the local authorities.

The state Government of Kerala has advised a health clearance certificate is required for all foreign nationals before they will be permitted to board outbound international flights if/when they occur. You will need to contact your local COVID 19 District Cell to begin the process.

Staying in where you are

If your hotel asks you to leave, ask them to provide alternative accommodation, or talk to the police who can assist. If you have nowhere to go and you need urgent help, contact the nearest British consulate:

  • New Delhi: +91 (11) 2419 2100
  • Chennai: + 91 (44) 42192151
  • Mumbai/Goa: +91 (22) 6650 2222

The Government of India has ordered that food, medicines and other supplies remain available, but we are aware that supplies are running low, and some shops are closed.

If you need medicine, use Google to find nearby pharmacies and ask if they will deliver. If not, you should walk (not drive) to the nearest pharmacy or ask your accommodation provider to help. Carry any medical papers or prescriptions and be prepared to answer questions if stopped by the police. If your usual medication is not available, consult a local doctor for an Indian alternative or go to the nearest hospital. In a genuine medical emergency, call an ambulance.

In Goa there is a lockdown and curfew, meaning if you are outdoors you may be stopped and detained by authorities. You should stay indoors as far as possible. If you need to go out, be prepared to explain why if you are stopped.

The Goa State Government has set up the following helplines:

  • food requests +91 9423890066
  • medicine requests +91 7823026971
  • food deliveries in North Goa +91 94238 90077 (WhatsApp and Telegram only)

The authorities have also confirmed that small shops will be open throughout Goa and people are allowed to walk to these to buy essentials. If you require urgent consular assistance in Goa, call our consular helpline on +91 (22) 6650 2222.

For information on travelling within India and extending your visa, see Coronavirus

Help and support

The British High Commission New Delhi cannot provide further information or advice about departure options over the phone. This page will be updated when departure options become available. To get the latest information, register your details(see above) and sign up for travel advice email alerts.

Further information

See additional advice on making travel plans to return to the UK, or what to do if you cannot depart immediately.