The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to Yemen. This includes the mainland and all islands. If you’re in Yemen, you should leave immediately.
The British government can’t provide any form of assisted departure to British nationals in Yemen. There are no evacuation procedures in place, in line with the FCO’s longstanding policy on assistance in Yemen. The FCO has been consistently advising against all travel to Yemen and for UK nationals to leave Yemen since March 2011.
Due to increased security risk, on 11 February 2015 the operations of the British Embassy in Sana’a were temporarily suspended and diplomatic staff withdrawn. If you need consular assistance, you can contact the FCO in London at any time by calling +44 (0) 20 7008 1500.
The FCO is aware that some British nationals have left Yemen independently by sea, air and land travelling to nearby countries, including Djibouti. Given the situation in southern Yemen, it appears there are currently limited opportunities for vessels to dock at the port of Aden to evacuate people. It’s more likely that ships may operate out of Hodeida, although the FCO has no further information at this time about future departures. The FCO is also unlikely to hear of departures in sufficient time to be able to disseminate the information appropriately.
The FCO can’t offer you any advice on the safety of travelling to any potential evacuation point and you should therefore consider carefully whether you want to pursue any options that become available. You should use your own judgement to move towards an evacuation point only if and when you judge it is safe to do so.
Limited arrangements are in place to facilitate onward travel from Djibouti, Khartoum and elsewhere in the region for British nationals arriving from Yemen. However, the UK government’s ability to help is limited and you’ll be expected to cover the cost of visas, accommodation, insurance and onward travel yourself. Any travel options you pursue are taken at your own risk.
The situation in Yemen remains very tense and changeable. If you do choose to remain in Yemen you should minimise movement around the country and within cities and towns and follow other precautions in this travel advice.
Since 25 March, Saudi Arabia has been leading coalition airstrikes in Yemen in response to a request for support from President Hadi. The situation remains very tense and changeable. Clashes have caused temporary suspension or closure of airports. Sana’a airport was targeted in airstrikes on 28 March. Check with your airline or travel company before travelling to any airport in the country.
On 6 April, fighting intensified in and around Aden. On 23 March, the Houthis advanced to the city of Taiz where they took control of the airport. Further clashes have taken place between Houthi and government forces elsewhere across the country, including close to Aden. There have also been a number of clashes along the Yemen-Saudi border, which have resulted in casualties. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all travel to within 10km of the Saudi Arabian border with Yemen.
On 20 March, 3 bomb attacks, 2 in Sana’a and 1 in Saada killed at least 130 people and seriously injured many others.
On 19 March, fighting broke out at the airport in Aden and surrounding military bases. At least 5 people were killed and several others seriously injured. It’s unclear if the airport is operating normally.
If you’ve already submitted an application in Yemen for a British passport, you will be contacted by Her Majesty’s Passport Office.
There is a high threat from terrorism throughout Yemen and specific methods of attack are evolving and increasing in sophistication. Terrorists continue to threaten further attacks. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has previously targeted western interests and Houthis, and there could be a threat to commercial sites, transport infrastructure, diplomatic missions and any place where westerners or Houthis gather.
There is a very high threat of kidnap from armed tribes, criminals and terrorists. In 2014 and 2015, a number of foreign nationals were kidnapped, and groups actively continue to target westerners.
On 21 September 2014, the Government of Yemen and the Houthi-led Ansar Allah party signed a Peace and National Partnership Agreement to end Houthi aggression towards the capital. Since then the Houthis have occupied key positions, including government ministries in Sana’a and established their presence in governorates to the south, east and west of Sana’a including Hodeida, Dhamar, al Bayda, Marib and Taiz. This has led to significant armed clashes between Houthi forces and other armed groups, including AQAP and tribes.
On 19 January, fighting broke out between the Presidential Guard and Houthis near the Presidential Palace. On 22 January, the President, Prime Minister, and Cabinet resigned. On 6 February, the Houthis announced the immediate dissolution of Parliament. UN-brokered peace negotiations are ongoing. The political situation is extremely volatile and fluid, and the threat of further escalation of violence and disorder across the country remains. In response to the instability in Sana’a, southern secessionists have increased their protests and activity in Aden. Demonstrations could occur at short notice across Yemen and may well turn violent
Houthis continue to man checkpoints in Sana’a and other parts of the country, several of which are manned by armed children. AQAP continue to target Houthi checkpoints, and Houthis in general. Since October 2014, there have been a number of large-scale attacks on Houthis. See Terrorism
Piracy is a significant threat in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. See Sea travel
Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.