Need To Get Home?
Hundreds of thousands of British travellers are still abroad and are trying to make their way back home or stay as safe as possible where they are stranded.
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has advised that it is arranging rescue flights in partnership with the airline industry, so it’s essential to register and make sure they know where you are if you’re still overseas. The government will provide up to £75 million to arrange these charter flights.
To find registration details and further advice/instructions such as whether you are eligible, and how to book, visit the FCO’s page for your location – go to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice - select the relevant country, then click on “Return To The UK.”.
Some commercial flights are still operating where it is feasible, but even if you do have a pre-booked flight it’s a good idea to check FCO advice and register so they know you’re there.
As we all know by now, the FCO has advised against all non-essential travel worldwide, which means that travel insurance will not cover you if you do decide to travel now – even if it was booked before the advice against travel was issued.
If you are stuck overseas
Tips from experts including Which? and various travel journalists include:
- In addition to registering with the FCO, you should also contact the British Embassy or Consulate nearest to you so they know you're there.
- Don't accept a refund from your airline if they have not yet provided an alternative flight to get you home.
- If you can't get a flight home with the airline you originally booked, book with any other airline you can, and claim for the new ticket from your original airline, advises The Guardian.
- Take the earliest flight you can. Don't wait to see what else comes up.
- You may need to take a few connecting flights if there are no direct routes available. The Telegraph suggests looking at the arrivals board on the Heathrow website to see where flights are landing from.
More from the FCO
- If overseas you must follow the advice of local authorities. Your safety and security is the responsibility of the local authority where you are. Be ready to comply with local isolation or quarantine requirements, and to rely on the local health system.
- If you are returning to the UK, contact your airline or travel company and your insurance provider as soon as you are able, and keep up to date with the latest developments. International travel may become more difficult. The UK Government advise they will only organise assisted departure in exceptional circumstances.
- British travellers currently abroad need to take account of the fast moving situation and plan accordingly, while flights remain available in many places.
- The Foreign Office now advises against all non-essential travel worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions. All countries may restrict travel without notice.
- British citizens planning to travel overseas should read the coronavirus travel advice guidance page and sign-up to travel email alerts. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus
- If you're a British traveller abroad who is usually based in the UK, the Foreign Office advises that you return to the UK now. You should contact your tour operator or airline and read the Foreign Office dedicated coronavirus travel advice for the latest guidance on travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
- British citizens who decide that they still need to travel abroad should be fully aware of the increased risks of doing so. That includes the risk that they may not be able to get home, if travel restrictions are put in place. Anyone still considering travel needs to be realistic about the level of disruption they are willing and able to endure, and to make decisions in light of the unprecedented conditions we face.
Most importantly, try not to panic
- Make your health a priority and ensure that you have everything you need:
- If you are stuck overseas, we can extend your travel insurance policy for 30 days.
- If you are stuck for longer than 30 days, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org - you'll need to tell us your policy number and provide details of your circumstances.
- Seek medical advice immediately if you don't feel well.
- If you have a flight back to the UK and feel unwell, you must tell the airline before you board. They won’t leave you behind, but they will need to make arrangements to prevent other passengers from becoming ill.
- Follow self-isolation and social distancing as much as possible, even if it is not yet enforced by the local authorities.
Take care, and we wish you all a safe journey back home.
Recent Blog Posts
- Brits Are Determined To Travel Again!
- Indefinite Advice Against Travel: Now What?
- Armchair Travel & Culture: See The World While You're At Home!
- Need To Get Home?
- Can You Get A Flight Refunded?
- UK Government Coronavirus Campaign
- Travel Alert: 16/3/2020
- Coronavirus / COVID-19 And Your Onestop4: Travel Insurance
- Coronavirus And Your Cruise
- Travel Alerts: 2/3/2020