How UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office produces their travel advice

Thursday 10, June 2010


How UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office produces their travel advice


UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office aims to give British travellers the info they need to make their own informed decisions about travelling to a particular country.


UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office bases their advice on information they get from:

  • their embassies, consulates and high commissions
  • the intelligence services
  • local knowledge

All advice is based on objective assessments of the risks to British nationals - your safety is our main concern.


They know that their travel advice can have a knock-on effect on travel, trade and political considerations, but they do not let this influence the advice they give. 


Only when they consider the risks to British nationals to be unacceptably high in cases of non-terrorist threats such as coups, civil unrest or natural disasters will they advise against travel. 


How often does UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office update their travel advice?

They review our travel advice monthly and update it following any incident that might affect Britons travelling or living in the area.


It is revised and re-issued at least every 3 months and can be updated several times a day in a developing crisis.


Threat of terrorism

In the case of terrorism they will only advise this if the threat is sufficiently specific, large-scale or localised to affect British nationals severely. 


Travel companies use UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office's advice

Travel companies often take the advice into account but the decision to cancel a holiday, tour or excursion is ultimately theirs alone.


The question of refunds is a matter that must be resolved between the customer and the tour operator/travel agent. 


What does UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office mean by ‘essential travel’?

Sometimes we say that only essential travel is advised. Whether travel is essential or not is your own decision – you may have urgent family or business commitments to attend to. 


UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office doesn’t take the decision lightly to advise against all travel or all but essential travel.


They understand that circumstances differ from person to person - only you can make an informed decision based on the risks.


The non-country specific travel advice

UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Travel checklist is full of useful advice for staying safe and out of trouble abroad.


They also have specific advice for different types of traveller including women, backpackers and Hajj pilgrims in our Your trip section.



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