The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to within 80km (50 miles) of the Colombian border in the states of Zulia, Tachira and Apure. The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the remainder of Tachira state. Drug traffickers and illegal armed groups are active in these states and there is a risk of kidnapping. The opening hours of the land border crossings with Colombia have been reduced as a measure to fight smuggling. Until further notice, borders will remain closed from 6pm until 5am. See Crime

The Venezuelan government has closed several major border crossing points between Tachira State and Colombia until further notice due to concerns about security and smuggling. On 21 August 2015 special measures were announced in 6 municipalities in Tachira State which will be in force for 60 days. These include restrictions on the right to free movement, assembly and protest in these municipalities.

Political demonstrations have taken place in most major cities, including Caracas, Merida, San Cristobal, Valencia, Maracay, Maracaibo, Barquisimeto and Porlamar. Some of these demonstrations have been violent, with roadblocks on main streets and avenues, and have included the use of firearms. There have been injuries and deaths.

Further demonstrations are expected. You should remain alert and avoid any large gatherings. Protests may also cause disruption to travel plans.

International airlines in Venezuela have recently reduced the availability of flights to and from the country. This has made it more difficult and expensive to buy flight tickets, especially if paid in local currency. Some flights have been cancelled or postponed at short notice. See Entry requirements

Heavy rains have affected wide areas of the country and road conditions remain poor. States most heavily affected are Aragua, Carabobo, Capital District (Caracas) and Falcon. See Road travel

Levels of street crime are high. Armed muggings and ‘express kidnappings’ are a regular occurrence. Resistance to robbery has resulted in victims being shot dead. Take care at all times, especially when arriving in the country. See Crime

Around 9,500 British nationals visit Venezuela every year. Most visits are trouble free.

There is an underlying threat from terrorism. See Terrorism

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.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel. With effect from 18 December 2013, the Venezuelan Government has made it obligatory for all people travelling to Venezuela to hold travel and medical insurance.