Foreign travel advice

Iran

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.

Summary

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The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advise British-Iranian dual nationals against all travel to Iran.

The FCDO advise all British nationals against all travel to:

  • within 100km of the entire Iran/Afghanistan border
  • within 10km of the entire Iran/Iraq border
  • the province of Sistan-Baluchistan
  • the area east of the line running from Bam to Jask, including Bam

Additionally, the FCDO advise all British nationals against all but essential travel to:

  • the whole of Iran based on both a security assessment, and the current assessment of COVID-19 risks

Travel to Iran is subject to entry restrictions

  • Entry to Iran is permitted for Iranian nationals, residents and holders of some types of visas only. The authorities are not permitting anyone to enter Iran from the UK, via direct or indirect flights until 10 March 2021. This date is subject to change, possibly at very short notice
  • All passengers arriving into Iran by air must hold a valid health certificate issued by the health authorities of the country of departure. This must contain a COVID-19 molecular test performed by an approved centre of the departure country, carried out within 96 hours of entry into Iran. Non-Iranian nationals will not be permitted entry without such a certificate
  • You will need to provide contact details on arrival in Iran

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

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 (COVID-19) pandemic and sign up for email alerts for this travel advice.

If you’re planning travel to Iran, 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 FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.

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

In the event that the situation deteriorates further, the ability of the British Embassy to provide assistance to British nationals from within Iran may be limited.

Military action in 2020 in Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding areas and on the inter-state border between Azerbaijan and Armenia, hit civilian areas resulting in deaths and casualties. A ceasefire agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan was signed on 10 November 2020. However, tensions remain. In the event of any significant regional tensions, you should remain vigilant and keep up to date with the latest developments, including via the media and this travel advice. See Border areas

If you decide your presence in Iran is essential, you should maintain a low profile and keep up to date with developments, including via this travel advice. Avoid any rallies, marches and processions, keep away from military sites and follow the instructions of the local authorities at all times.

There is a risk that British nationals, and a significantly higher risk that British-Iranian dual nationals, could be arbitrarily detained or arrested in Iran. The criminal justice process followed in such cases falls below international standards. Iran does not recognise dual nationality. If you are a dual British-Iranian national and are detained in Iran, the FCDO’s ability to provide consular support is extremely limited. See Safety and security

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Iran. Attacks could happen anywhere, including in places visited by foreigners. On 22 September 2018, there was an attack on a military parade in Ahvaz, capital of Khuzestan province. On 7 June 2017, there were two attacks in Tehran – one in the Majles (the Iranian parliament) in central Tehran and another at the Imam Khomeini Shrine near Imam Khomeini international airport. See Terrorism

Iran is a Muslim country in which Islamic law is strictly enforced. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend. See Local laws and customs

There have been sporadic protests across the country about the economic situation in Iran. You should exercise caution and avoid any protests or rallies and follow the instructions of the local authorities.

It is possible to exchange GBP in certified exchange bureaux, though you may still experience difficulties in changing money. See Money

Consular support is limited in Iran. If you need consular assistance you should contact the British Embassy on telephone: +98 (0)21 6405 2000 to make an appointment. See Consular assistance services