Travel advice: coronavirus (COVID-19)

Guidance for British people travelling and living overseas following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Wuhan, China, and in other countries worldwide.

Cases of novel coronavirus were first reported in Hubei Province, China, in December 2019. Since then, further cases of the virus have been confirmed in a number of countries in Asia and further afield.

This page provides the latest advice for British people travelling and living overseas.

Latest health advice

See the latest information and advice for the public on the outbreak of coronavirus from the Department of Health and Social Care. This covers the current situation in the UK and abroad, and provides specific advice for travellers returning to the UK from:

  • mainland China
  • Hong Kong
  • Macao
  • Cambodia
  • Iran
  • northern Italy
  • Japan
  • Laos
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

The National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) has also produced general advice on preparing for foreign travel and how individuals can help reduce the spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice

The FCO is currently advising against all travel to Hubei Province, and against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China. If you’re in China and able to leave, you should do so. See the latest travel advice for China.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is also advising against all but essential travel to:

  • the cities of Daegu and Cheongdo in South Korea
  • ten small towns in the Lombardy region and one in the Veneto region of Italy

See the latest travel advice for South Korea and Italy.

The FCO is not advising against travel to any other country/territory as a result of coronavirus risks.

FCO travel advice remains under constant review to ensure it reflects our latest assessment of risks to British people. Find more information about how we put FCO travel advice together and make decisions on advising against travel in our travel advice guidance page.

Impact for travellers

If you’re concerned about the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on your existing travel plans, check with your airline, tour operator, cruise line or other transport and accommodation providers as applicable. Individual providers may also have their own requirements for customers or passengers to meet.

Entry restrictions

Many countries in Asia and some further afield have introduced screening measures and entry restrictions at border crossings and transport hubs. If you have recently been in China or other affected countries, you may not be allowed to enter or transit, or you may be required to enter a period of quarantine after entry.

Screening measures on arrival may include temperature checks, and you could be asked about your general health or recent travel history. Where these checks identify a concern, further medical checks may be required.

For country-specific information, check the FCO travel advice pages for all countries you are planning to visit or transit.

If you’re affected by these changes and need further information about entry requirements, contact the local immigration authorities or the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country you’re travelling to. You should also check with your airline or travel company for the latest information.

Air travel

Some airlines, including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, have suspended flights to and from China, or revised their schedules. Other flights in the region may also be affected. If you’re due to travel on an affected route, keep up to date with the latest information from your travel company or airline.

International cruises

Some cruise line passengers have experienced disruption to their travel as a result of measures taken by individual countries to combat coronavirus. The Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) has adopted an enhanced member health policy which all CLIA ocean member cruise lines are required to follow to address the coronavirus. This includes guidance on who should be permitted to board cruise ships. If you are due to travel on an international cruise, contact your travel company for the latest information.

Travel insurance

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has produced information on travel insurance implications following the outbreak. If you have any further questions about your cover or would like further reassurance, you should contact your travel insurance provider.

Published 4 February 2020
Last updated 26 February 2020 + show all updates
  1. Latest FCO travel advice on COVID-19.

  2. We have added additional travel advice on COVID-19

  3. First published.