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Archive for the ‘FCO’ Category

FCO launches World Cup travel advice campaign

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office have recently launched a travel advice campaign called ‘Be on the Ball’ aimed at British football fans travelling out to Brazil for the forthcoming FIFA World Cup. As part of the campaign, the Foreign Office is producing a number of resources for fans, providing information on how best to prepare for travelling to Brazil as well as internally between each of the host cities for the initial group matches.

The following page has been set up to help fans planning their trip:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/world-cup-2014.

This website will continue to be updated with further details in the lead up to the event and as the tournament progresses.

The FCO is also working with football clubs and travel partners to help promote the key advice to travelling football fans.

This article is brought to you by Travelandinsure.com

Foreign Office launches user friendly travel advice

Friday, September 14th, 2012

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has launched Plan.Pack.Explore, the ultimate travel guide for those planning a trip abroad. The guide contains a wealth of information to help travellers understand exactly what they need to do before they go away, from getting the right visa to keeping their money safe. It also explains exactly what the FCO can and cannot do if they get into trouble abroad. The FCO is particularly urging those planning a gap year to pick up a copy of Plan.Pack.Explore to help them avoid running into preventable problems overseas.

Plan.Pack.Explore. is available for free in print, online and as an app for iPad, iPhone (iOS 5 and above) and Android devices. The benefits of the Plan.Pack.Explore. app include:

– My Checklist – allowing users to develop personal check lists

– My Notes – allowing users to write personal notes to act as reminders for a later date

– Latest FCO travel news

– Useful contacts section for Embassies, Consulates and High Commissions abroad

– Holiday countdown function

Download the app at the following links:

For Android:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.uk.fco.ppe&feature=search_result#?=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsIm9yZy51ay5mY28ucHBlIl0

For iPad and iPhone:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/plan-pack-explore/id552693482?ls=1&mt=8

Download or host the digital version here:

http://issuu.com/foreignandcommonwealthoffice/docs/planpackexplore

This article is brought to you by Travelandinsure.com – specialist in ethical travel insurance.

Help when abroad

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

People often ask what they should do if they get into difficulties abroad and who they should contact.  A comprehensive travel insurance policy is there to give you that ‘peace of mind’ in the event of a medical emergency, airport delays and loss of personal belongings but, when abroad, you may become the victim of an incident and you need to know who to turn to in your hour of need.  Medical Assistance companies tied to your travel insurance are a first port of call and, if you are on an organised holiday, then the tour operator is likely to have a resident representative at the resort.

More and more people are now opting to be ‘independent travellers’ and when things do go wrong, you need to know what to do in an emergency.  The Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London also provides excellent advice for travellers and you are strongly advised to log on to their website at https://www.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo before you go.  They can also be contacted by telephone for consular assistance on 020 7008 1500. Similar levels of advice to non-UK nationals can be obtained from their respective Consulates, Embassies and High Commissions though the FCO website is also a source of good general travel advice to anyone travelling abroad.

For UK nationals travelling abroad, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will do everything they properly can to help British people in difficulty abroad. If you get into difficulty or trouble, you can contact British Consular Staff around the world who may be able to help.  It’s always worth getting travel insurance cover and checking you have the address and telephone number of the local British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate before you travel.  Your rep/local guide, hotel/guesthouse or local police are likely to have this information.

The UK consular operation covers most countries but not all and, in these countries, you may be able to get help from the consulate of another EU member state.  Also, Commonwealth countries such as Australia and Canada may provide certain consular services to British nationals in countries where the UK is unrepresented.

This article is brought to you by Travelandinsure.com – specialist in ethical travel insurance.

Gap year tragedy

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

The very tragic news from Thailand, where three young British men were killed in a bus crash, just days after flying out to begin their long awaited gap year travels, is an unwelcome reminder to us all that, as well as the undoubted life enriching experience that a gap year gives to most people, there will inevitably be some level of risk attached.   That is no reason not to take a gap year because similar accidents can and do happen closer to home but gap years do generally involve extended travel to remoter parts of the globe and thereby lies the problem.

According to the FCO, over 200,000 people in the UK, of all ages, are now taking gap years or sabbaticals abroad with India, Peru and Tanzania currently the most popular places for gap year placement.  The FCO offers very useful advice on their website at www.fco.gov.uk/travel and they do keep up to date travel advice information on most, if not all countries.

What is still surprising though is that 25% of all travellers go abroad without adequate travel insurance but why take this unnecessary risk?   Although travel insurance will not prevent something happening to you, it can certainly help to reduce some of the stresses in the aftermath.   Medical expenses including repatriation, loss of baggage, legal assistance, and curtailment are just some of the essential benefits that come with most policies and it is now possible to buy tailored policies from specialist providers to cover almost every combination of gap year.

This article is brought to you by Travelandinsure.com – specialist in ethical travel insurance.

FCO latest travel advice for Japan

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

The following is the latest Travel Advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for Japan issued 30th March 2011:

1. We advise against all but essential travel to Tokyo and north east Japan given the damage caused by the 11 March earthquake, the resulting aftershocks and the tsunami.

2. Due to the evolving situation at the Fukushima nuclear facility and potential disruptions to the supply of goods, transport, communications, power and other infrastructure, British nationals currently in Tokyo and to the north of Tokyo should consider leaving the area.

3. At present this advice does not apply to Hokkaido due to its significant distance north of Fukushima. We will continue to monitor the situation.

4. In response to reports of contamination of food or water supplies, we advise British nationals to follow the advice of the relevant Japanese authorities.

Nuclear

5. We urge British nationals to observe the advice being given by the Japanese authorities. The Japanese Government has put in place an exclusion zone of 20km around the Fukushima nuclear power plant, which must be observed.

6. As an additional precautionary measure, British nationals are advised to remain outside an 80km radius of the Fukushima nuclear facility.  This is in line with the advice issued by the US Government to its citizens.

7. Any British nationals currently within 80km of the facility are advised to leave the area or take shelter indoors.

8. The Scientific Advisory Group in Emergencies (SAGE), chaired by the Chief Scientific Adviser, has been examining possible worst case scenarios.  Even in these worst cases, it considers that the risks to human health beyond the exclusion zone set up by the Japanese authorities could be managed by precautionary measures, in particular staying indoors to avoid exposure.

9. The consular counter at the British Embassy in Tokyo is currently operating extended opening hours, from 09:30-16:30, Monday to Friday.  It will be closed during the weekend. If you require emergency assistance outside public hours, please call the British Embassy on 03 5211 1100 03 5211 1100  and follow the instructions.

10. The consular counter at the Consulate-General in Osaka is now open from 10.00-12.00 and 14.00-17.00, Monday to Friday.

Keeping in touch

11. Keep listening to local media for real time information and monitoring FCO travel advice for further updates.

12. We will be using Twitter and Facebook to provide updates and advice.  We recommend following “FCOtravel” and “British Embassy Tokyo” on Facebook and “@fcotravel” and “@ukinjapan” on Twitter.

Flights

13. Those wishing to leave Japan should use the commercial flights, which continue to operate to and from Japan.   The UK government does not currently have plans to organise further charter flights.

This advice is brought to you by www.travelandinsure.com – specialist in ethical travel insurance

British Government flights for British nationals wishing to leave Cairo

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

In addition to the chartered plane scheduled to leave Cairo on Thursday 3 February to assist British nationals wishing to leave Egypt, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has decided to charter a second plane scheduled to leave Cairo on Saturday 5 February.

The charter flight leaving Cairo on Thursday evening is now full. British nationals who wish to use the second charter service on Saturday should register with the FCO. Please note that there will be a charge for this service – seats on this flight will cost £300 each. Those already booked on other commercial flights should not cancel their bookings.

To register for a seat on this flight and further instructions please call: +44 (0)207 008 8765 / +20 227 916 000 in Egypt
http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/middle-east-north-africa/egypt

This advice is brought to you by Travelandinsure.com – specialist in ethical travel insurance.

British Government flights for British nationals wishing to leave Cairo

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

In light of the ongoing unrest in Egypt the British Government has chartered a plane to supplement commercial capacity. The plane will depart from Cairo International Airport on Thursday 03 February and there will be a charge of approximately £300 per person.

To register for a seat on this flight and further instructions please call: +44 (0)207 008 8765 / +20 227 916 000 in Egypt . For more advice, click on

http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/middle-east-north-africa/egypt

This advice is brought to you by Travelandinsure.com – specialist in ethical travel insurance.

Tunisia travel disrupted

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

The Foreign Office has advised against all but essential travel to Tunisia following the declaration of a ‘State of Emergency’ in the North African country after violent political unrest and demonstrations.  Tour operators, Thomson and First Choice have and continue to fly out their British customers from the coastal resorts though hundreds are determine to stay and finish their holidays.

Should you become caught up in what is neatly termed, civil commotion or civil unrest, you need to be aware that most travel insurance providers include this as a general exclusion in their policies. The impact of this is that you may not be as well insured as you think you are. If in doubt, do check with your travel insurance company before you travel and look at your policy wording.

Generally, medical expenses and medical repatriation will be included but if you want to be covered for all eventualities then you will have to pay an increased premium for this. Thankfully, the chances of being caught up in these types of incidents are still rare and, even when they do strike, they tend to be away from the main tourist destinations.

This article is brought to you by Travelandinsure.com – specialist in Ethical Travel Insurance.

Top tips for your Gap Year

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Planning a gap year? Then here are a few useful tips to make sure you get the cover you need.

Tip 1 Emergency Medical Expenses covers emergency treatment and to get you back home if necessary.  Make sure you have this cover, if nothing else.

Tip 2 If you have a medical condition(s), do tell the Insurance Company as they may decline any claim if you don’t.

Tip 3 Check the amount insured for cancellation is enough. Some Gap Year trips can cost a lot more than the insurance cover provided.

Tip 4 Check you have cover for an Airline going bust and if the Foreign Commonwealth Office warn travellers to not go to a country you are planning to visit.

Tip 5 Get a policy that provides Personal Liability cover, just in case you accidentally harm someone or something and make sure it does not exclude harming a travelling companion under the Personal liability section and also that it does cover damage to accommodation.

Tip 6 Get Gap Year insurance that covers working/volunteering and watch the small print as some will cover working but not if being paid, and some cover work but exclude many types of job.

Tip 7 Pick the highest grouping of the sports or activity you think you might do or choose a Gap Year Policy that covers all unplanned sports and activities.

Tip 8 Check how much kit you’ve got, and then check the cover provided under personal effects. Many items could be excluded, especially electrical items e.g. laptops, camera’s, etc.

Tip 9 Buy Gap Year and Backpacker Insurance when you book your flight/trip so you are immediately covered if you have to cancel due to illness.

Tip 10 Take two copies of your insurance documents. Leave one at home, take one with you and maybe scan into an internet document safe.

Tip Plus one! For parents A family annual multi-trip policy is for short trips, usually holidays and generally under 31 days for each trip and so is not suitable for extended period away. Children may have to be under 18 and many have travel restrictions.

This article is brought to you by Travelandinsure.com – specialist in ethical travel insurance.

Foreign Office warns Britons to avoid travel in Thailand

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

The Foreign Office has extended a travel warning to all of Thailand, saying Britons should avoid all but essential travel to the country as violence spread to popular seaside resorts. ”The situation is volatile and we recommend that British nationals in Thailand or planning to travel to the country check the travel advice on the embassy website regularly for details of further developments.”

The Foreign Office had previously warned only to avoid the Thai capital, Bangkok, but it has now extended the caution to the entire country given the risk “that violence could break out without warning”. This advice reflects the increasing tension in Thailand and the concern that violent incidents of an unpredictable nature are occurring in many parts of Thailand.

However, some Britons are still pressing ahead with trips to Thailand despite Foreign Office advice to avoid all but essential travel to the country.  This has led to travel organisation, ABTA, to warn that travel insurance would not cover those who had gone to Thailand aware of the FO advice. Issuing a statement, ABTA emphasize that travellers “should realise that should they decide to go, get caught up in an incident and get injured and have travelled knowing the Foreign Office advice, they will not be covered by insurance.”

Should you become caught up in what is neatly termed, civil commotion or civil unrest, you need to be aware that most travel insurance providers include this as a general exclusion in their policies. The impact of this is that you may not be as well insured as you think you are. If in doubt, do check with your travel insurance company before you travel and look at your policy wording.

Generally, medical expenses and medical repatriation will be included but if you want to be covered for all eventualities then you will have to pay an increased premium for this. Thankfully the chances of being caught up in these types of incidents are still very slight, and even when they do strike, they tend to be away from the main tourist destinations.

So if you do plan to visit Thailand, do check with your tour operator beforehand who may be able to offer alternative destinations away from the troubled areas. For the independent traveller, be wise and avoid those areas where a heightened tension exists.

This article is brought to you by Travelandinsure.com – specialist in Ethical Travel Insurance.