Foreign travel advice

Iraq

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

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) continues to advise against all travel to Iraq, including the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

On 22 December the Government of Iraq announced a ban on passengers travelling to and from the UK. Please consult your airline before travelling. See Coronavirus.

The Kurdistan Regional Government are urgently investigating circumstances around rocket attacks in the vicinity of Erbil Airport on 15 February. The airport has now reopened; please consult with your airline before travelling.

The Government of Iraq announced a curfew in response to rising coronavirus cases from 18 February. There will be a total curfew on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays alongside a partial curfew from 8pm to 5am Mondays to Thursdays. The curfew will be in place until 8 March. This does not apply to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. You should comply with measures introduced by the local authority. See Coronavirus

The Kurdistan Region of Iraq has imposed strict travel restrictions between provinces. These are published through local media and on the Ministry of Interior website.

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

Iraq remains subject to regional tensions. Militant groups opposed to western presence in Iraq continue to pose a threat to UK and other interests in Iraq – including through attacks on Global Coalition military bases, diplomatic premises, and foreign nationals. It is possible that the security situation could deteriorate quickly. The situation remains uncertain and could worsen at short notice. You should avoid any rallies, marches or processions, and follow the instructions of local authorities. See Political and security situation

There is a possibility of an increased threat against Western interests, including against UK citizens. You should remain vigilant, have robust security arrangements and contingency plans in place, keeping these under review, and keep up to date with the latest developments, including via the media and this travel advice.

In the event of a sudden deterioration in the security station, there may be limits to the assistance the FCDO can provide. You should not assume that the FCDO will be able to provide assistance to leave the country.

According to Iraqi law you must have a visa before you travel, even if you’re intending to travel to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. See Visas

The Iraqi Prime Minister announced the territorial defeat of Da’esh in Iraq on 9 December 2017. However, terrorists are still very likely to try to carry out attacks in Iraq. You should remain vigilant and monitor media reports. See Terrorism

There’s also a high threat of kidnapping throughout the country, from both Daesh and other terrorist and militant groups, which can be motivated by criminality or terrorism. You should review your security arrangements regularly and consider carefully any travel plans around the country. See Kidnap

Turkey conducts regular military action in the north of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) and, occasionally, further south. There is particular risk in mountainous areas, especially around Qandil, Makhmur, and near the border with Turkey. Crossing points along the Iraq-Turkey border may also be affected. See Kurdistan Region

The government of Iraq is taking measures to improve the structural integrity of the Mosul Dam as there is a risk the dam could fail. It’s currently impossible to accurately predict if or when this might occur. See Local travel

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 severely limited in Iraq. The British Embassy in Baghdad and the British Consulate-General in Erbil operate a limited consular service by appointment only. The Embassy and Consulate-General’s ability to visit locations across Iraq is limited and travel to unsecure areas to deliver consular services may not be possible.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.