The new Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) service offers an easy way to stay up to date with the latest advice about travel, and to get help before and during a trip abroad. Questions to @FCOtravel are answered 9am – 6pm BST, Monday – Friday.
The new Twitter service helps to ensure that British people travelling overseas have a trouble-free trip, advising on passports, visas, travel safety, and more. In the event that something goes wrong, the FCO can be contacted on Twitter for support.
This service is provided by the FCO’s dedicated travel advice and consular teams, who are online to answer questions between 9am and 6pm weekdays, UK time, and aim to respond within 30 minutes. Outside of these times questions are only answered in the event of a crisis situation. Others are picked up at the start of the next working day. Many questions about travel can be replied to on Twitter, but any inquiries that involve personal information are taken offline.
This service adds to the ways that British people travelling or living overseas can already get in touch with the FCO: by emailing the travel advice team or contacting local consular staff.
Offering FCO services digitally
The new Twitter-based service responds to increasing customer demand for more accessible information and services online. The launch follows a two-month pilot phase to trial the service and train staff involved in the delivery. This project is leading the way in providing consular services to customers more quickly and directly, and is part of the UK government ‘digital by default’ agenda.