Guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19) essential international travel guidance

This page provides guidance on travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises against all but essential travel.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office advised British people against all non-essential travel worldwide. This applies for an indefinite period due to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions. All countries may restrict travel without notice. 

Checklist for before you travel

  • contact your airline, travel company, or other transport and accommodation providers to make sure you can still travel
  • read the details of your travel insurance carefully, and check that you are covered, and contact your insurer if you are uncertain. You may need to consider a specialist policy
  • make sure you can access money to cover emergencies and unexpected delays. Take more than one means of payment with you
  • be prepared to follow the advice of local authorities abroad. Be ready to comply with local isolation or quarantine requirements, and to rely on the local health system
  • make sure you have enough medication with you in case you are abroad longer than planned
  • be prepared for logistical and financial disruption to your travel
  • arrange extra support for family members, dependants or pets who may need care if you are abroad longer than planned
  • check travel advice for your destination regularly and sign-up to email alerts
  • see what you will need to do when you return to the UK until 7 June. The rules will change on 8 June: see what you will need to do to enter the UK from 8 June

If you are older, or if you have pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease), you are more likely to become severely ill if you catch the virus. Check the NHS guidance before you travel.

Get travel insurance

If your travel is essential, make sure you have appropriate insurance for overseas travel, and purchase it as soon as you book your travel. You should check the detail of your travel insurance to see what it covers, and contact your insurance provider if you have any questions.

You may need to consider a specialist policy. It’s your responsibility to make sure you’re covered. Read our guidance on purchasing insurance.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has published information on the travel insurance implications of coronavirus.

Entry restrictions

Many countries and territories have introduced screening measures (temperature checks, health/travel questions, quarantine) and entry restrictions at border crossings and transport hubs.

If you have recently been in a country affected by the virus you may need to be quarantined, or you may not be allowed to enter or travel through a third country. If you decide to travel, contact the local immigration authorities or the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country you’re travelling to.

International freight transport

International freight transport (by air, ship, road and rail, including roll-on/roll-off transports) is an essential activity in the context of travel advice. Our advice against non-essential travel does not apply to this industry. Read the Department for Transport guidance for the freight transport industry.

Published 17 March 2020
Last updated 22 May 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added link to new guidance on entering the UK from 8 June

  2. First published.