Coronavirus: Dominic Raab advises against global travel

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Britons have been advised against non-essential travel to anywhere in the world as borders continue to close around the globe due to coronavirus.

Dominic Raab told MPs today that the fast-paced nature of the crisis meant that it was now necessary to issue global guidance.

The advice takes effect immediately and will last for an initial 30-day period.

Making the announcement in the House of Commons, the Foreign Secretary said: “UK travellers abroad now face widespread international border restrictions and lock downs in various countries.

“The speed and range of those measures across other countries is unprecedented.

“So I have taken the decision to advise British nationals against all non-essential international travel.”

Mr Raab's measures come after the European Union announced plans for a 30-day ban on non-residents entering the bloc, though the restrictions are not expected to apply to Brits.

The Foreign Office (FCO) said British citizens who decide that they still need to travel abroad should be fully aware of the increased risks of doing so - including the possibility of being stranded overseas if restrictions are put in place.

It is not currently advising that those overseas immediately return to the UK, except from a few specific countries detailed in travel advice.

A total of 430 changes to FCO travel advice have been made in the last week more than were made over the whole of 2019.

Meanwhile, the government will also be issuing more advice on maintaining the flow of goods to the UK, while protecting staff working on shipping routes.

Mr Raab said: “We do regard this kind of travel as essential and we will work with industry to issue detailed advice which maintains the flow of goods whilst protecting the wellbeing of staff who are working on those routes.”

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