Travel Advice

Forest Fires in Monchique area - Portugal

Still current at:6 August 2018

A major forest fire in the area of Monchique, in the Algarve has been burning for a number of days. The fire continues to burn in the area surrounding Monchique. The Portuguese authorities are evacuating the affected areas. If you’re in the area, follow the instructions of the Portuguese police and Civil Protection authorities. For your own safety, travel to the Monchique area is not advised at this time.

If you need consular assistance, or you have concerns about family or friends in the area, please call (+351) 21 392 4000 or in the UK (+44) 207 008 1500.

The Portuguese authorities are forecasting a sharp increase in temperatures over the next week and you can see the latest weather forecast on the Portuguese Met Office’s website. You should take care when out in the sun and consult the NaTHNaC website for advice on sun protection. High temperatures also carry an increased risk of forest fires; check on the outbreak of fires with the local civil protection authority and report any you may see immediately to the emergency services on 112. See Natural disasters


Drought and Water Restrictions Western Cape Province of South Africa

Current 04/07/2018

The ABTA Destinations team continue to monitor the drought and water restrictions that have been affecting the Western Cape province of South Africa, including Cape Town and surrounding areas.   We understand that local residents have worked together with the tourism industry over recent months to implement a number of robust measures to reduce water consumption. In addition Cape Town has experienced significant rainfall in the last six weeks which has resulted in dam levels rising considerably. As a result we are advised that “Day Zero” will now not take place in 2018 or 2019.   South African Tourism Statement   Tolene van der Merwe, Hub Head UK & Ireland   We are pleased to announce that “Day Zero” – the projected date when Cape Town further reduces the supply of water to its citizens - will not take place in 2018 or 2019. Over the last few months, we have seen the tourism industry and locals work together to implement robust measures to reduce water consumption whilst continuing to welcome visitors and provide a great experience. Cape Town has also experienced significant rainfall in the last six weeks and as a result, dam levels have risen consistently and are now up to 42.7% full, so the city is now in a much stronger position than it was at the end of winter last year.   This latest announcement highlights the positive impact that water wise tourism has had on Cape Town and the effectiveness of making small changes to our day-to-day lives to help combat environmental issues. Of course, the recent increase in rainfall has contributed significantly to the rise in dam levels. However, we must continue to be sensitive to the changing environment and modify our attitudes to water consumption to ensure we manage and preserve this invaluable resource for generations to come. We look forward to welcoming more visitors over the coming year and beyond to see and experience our amazing country.   

We will update if there are any changes.

 

New Restrictions on Powders in Carry on Luggage to the USA

Current 29/06/2018

With effect from 30 June, passengers travelling on flights to the USA will be subject to hand baggage checks for powdered substances in packages 12 ounces/350ml or more, at the security screening checkpoint.  This is as a result of the Transportation Security Administration limiting the size of packages containing powders in carry-on bags of travellers entering the United States.   Medically prescribed powder-like substances and baby formula 12 ounces/340 grams or larger are exempt and may be transported in the cabin of the aircraft, provided that any sealed containers are inspected for signs of alteration or tampering to the packaging and containers that are unsealed are inspected to ensure that the contents are consistent with the container/packaging.   Passengers will be able to purchase packages of powdered substance such as coffee in excess of 12 ounces/340 grams post-security. Passengers with connecting flights who purchase powdered substances post security must place the item(s) in their checked bags at the point of connection prior to going through security or if the items are placed in security tamper-evident bags at the store of purchase at the airport, they may proceed with the item in their carry-on luggage. This is similar to the existing procedure with liquids, aerosols and gels.  

Virgin Atlantic   Carrying powders in your hand baggage. Restrictions on powders you can bring into the cabin.   From 30th June 2018, there'll be a limit to the amount of powder you can take in your hand baggage on flights to the USA. This includes things like protein powders, talc, laundry powder and Bisto.   For security reasons, if you want to take any powder products larger than 350ml (12oz, 340g), they'll need to go in your checked baggage - you can't take them onboard with you.   If you buy any duty free powder products at the airport over the 350ml (12oz, 340g) limit, make sure they put them in a tamper proof sealed bag for you. There are some exceptions: •Travelling with your baby - you can bring along their baby formula •Travelling with human remains - with the relevant death certificate •Powered medication over 350ml (12oz, 340g) - with a letter from your medical practitioner   For full details see: https://www.virginatlantic.com/gb/en/travel-information/baggage-allowance/powder-restrictions.html   

American Airlines   Carry-on restriction: powder-like substances For international travel to the U.S., powder-like substances over 12 oz. / 350 mL should be placed in checked bags. Powders over 12 oz. / 350 mL in carry-on bags may be prohibited. Effective June 30, 2018.   See: https://www.americanairlines.co.uk/i18n/travel-info/baggage/restricted-items.jsp   

Advice for Customers   People travelling to/from the USA are advised to comply with the new restrictions on powders in carry-on luggage.      

Vietnam Travel Advice Update

Current at 10/05/2018

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated the travel advice for Vietnam with an update to the Health section – additional information on travelling with medication. The relevant extract of the advice is below for your reference:
 
Health
If you’re taking prescription medication into Vietnam, carry it in your hand-luggage with a copy of the prescription. If it has a total import value greater than US$100, you should declare it at customs. Some specific medicines can be hard to find in Vietnam and many medications on sale are counterfeit.
 
Vietnam has restrictions on medicines which it classifies as “addictive” or “psychotropic” medicine. These include medicine that can be used for the treatment of addiction, to treat anxiety, depression, insomnia and other conditions. The rules say that you must not have more than the quantity prescribed by a doctor for 7 days (addictive medicine) or 10 days (psychotropic medicine). The prescription should be in English or Vietnamese and include your name and age and list the name, volume and dosage of the medicine(s). It must also include the doctor’s signature or address. If you’re unsure if your medication falls within these categories or if you need to bring in more medication than is usually allowed you should contact the Vietnamese Embassy in advance of travelling.
 
The overall level of the advice has not changed. There are no restrictions within the advice.
 
View the travel advice in full here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/vietnam 

 

Greece Overnight Stay Tax

From 1 January 2018, you’ll need to pay an Overnight Stay Tax which has been introduced by the Greek Ministry of Tourism and aims to enhance the State’s revenue in the context of the current fiscal adjustment programme. This will be collected from you when you get to your accommodation.

The tax works out between 0.50 - 4 Euros per night. The amount you’ll pay will depend on the official rating of your accommodation. The specific amount will be dependent on the type of accommodation you’ve booked, as set out in the table below:

Types of Accommodation

Euros/Night of stay

Mid - High Season (01/03-31/10)

Euros/Day of stay

5 Star Hotels4
4 Star Hotels3
3 Star Hotels1.5
1-2 Star Hotels0.5
Apartments - all key categories0.5

 

The amount you’ll pay is based on the official rating of the accommodation you have booked, according to the local Tourist Board classification. 

When and how to pay:

You’ll be asked to pay the tax when you check-in at your accommodation, this can be paid by cash or card

Why do I have to pay:

The tax is something new and specifically aimed at tourists. It’s a cost beyond our control and the suppliers of the accommodation. It’s a Government imposed tax that has to be paid when you stay in accommodation in Greece. Whilst our brochure and website holiday information does mention the possibility of local taxes like this, we understand this cost is something you probably weren’t expecting to pay and are sorry the Government has decided to bring this in so quickly.

If or when we receive any further information from the Government of Greece we’ll publish details on this page.

Thailand: FCO Travel Advice Update

Current 09/01/18

The FCO has updated its travel advice for Thailand with an update to the Entry requirements section – enforcement of penalties for those who overstay their visa is strict and the conditions at the Immigration Detention Centre are harsh. Deportation by the Thai authorities can take a number of days to process. The relevant extract of the advice is below for your reference:   Visas British passport holders arriving by air or land can enter Thailand for 30 days without a visa - this is known as a visa exemption. If you need to stay longer, it’s possible to extend your stay once, from the expiry date of the original visa, for up to 30 days.   If you’re using the 30 day visa exemption you can only enter Thailand through a land border twice per calendar year. To cross more frequently, you’ll need to get a visa in advance of travelling. This doesn’t apply to entry by air into Thailand. You should contact the nearest Thai embassy or consulate for more information.   If you plan to stay in Thailand for longer than 30 days, intend to work, or use land borders regularly you must get a visa before you travel. If you’ve entered Thailand on a visa, it’s possible to apply for an extension of stay but you must do this before your permission to stay expires.   If you overstay, you’ll be fined 500 baht per day up to a maximum of 20,000 baht. You also risk being held in detention, fined, deported at your own expense and black-listed from re-entering Thailand. The enforcement of penalties for those who overstay their visa is strict and the conditions at the Immigration Detention Centre are harsh. Deportation by the Thai authorities can take a number of days to process. The Thai authorities have stated that they will always enforce detention for overstays of more than 42 days. Since March 2016, you’ll be banned from re-entering Thailand if you overstay your visa. Check with the Thai Immigration Authority for details.   The only legal way of getting a new visa, entry permit or extension of stay is from a Thai Embassy or Consulate, an Immigration Officer at a point of entry into Thailand or one of the Immigration Offices around the country. Visas issued by visa shops, travel agents or by any other means are likely to be illegal and lead to criminal proceedings.   If you have any queries about visas or entry requirements, check with the Royal Thai Embassy.   The overall level of the advice has not changed. There are restrictions within the advice.   The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to the provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla on the Thai-Malaysia border. See Terrorism   View the travel advice in full here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/thailand    

USA: FCO Travel Advice Update 

Current 09/01/18

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated the travel advice for USA with an update to the Summary - revised information on US immigration measures for nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, as well as some Venezuelan government officials and their families.  The relevant extract of the advice is below for your reference:   Summary On 24 September 2017, the US announced new immigration measures for nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, as well as some Venezuelan government officials and their families. For the latest information check the websites of the US State Department and the Department of Homeland Security. If you’re travelling on a British passport with the correct travel documents, you aren’t affected by these measures. However, you must apply for a visa to enter the US if you’ve travelled to or been present in Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen on or after 1 March 2011 (with some exceptions) or are also a national of Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria. See Entry Requirements     The overall level of the advice has not changed. There are no restrictions within the advice.   View the travel advice in full here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/usa      

Egypt Update

Current 7 November 2017

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated the travel advice for Egypt with an update to the Entry Requirements (Medication) section - addition of further information about taking medication into Egypt.  The relevant extract of the advice is below for your reference:
 
Entry Requirements
Medication
Some prescribed and over the counter medicines that are available in the UK are considered controlled substances in Egypt and can’t be brought into the country without prior permission from Egypt’s Ministry of Health. If you arrive in Egypt without this permission and the required documentation, the medication will not be allowed into the country and you may be prosecuted under Egyptian law.
Methadone is not permitted into Egypt.
If you’re travelling with prescription medication you should carry a medical certificate confirming that the medication has been prescribed for a medical condition. The Egyptian Embassy website states that this should be in the form of an official letter from your GP, specifying details of your condition, the quantity of medication you will be carrying and that the medication is for your personal use only.
For further information and specific queries, contact the Egyptian Medical Office in London on 020 7370 6944.
 

Tunisia Travel Advice

Updated and current on 24/08/2017

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated the travel advice for Tunisia with an update to the Summary - link to updated guidance about additional security measures which may apply to flights departing from Tunisia to the UK. The relevant extract of the advice is below for your reference:

Summary

There’s a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation. Additional security measures may apply to flights departing from Tunisia to the UK. You should co-operate fully with security officials. For more information about how this may affect your flight, including if you’re transiting through Tunisia on the way to the UK, read this guidance page and contact the airline or Fleetway if you have further questions.

The overall level of the advice has not changed, and there are restrictions in place.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to:

  • the Chaambi Mountains National Park and the designated military operations zones of Mount Salloum, Mount Sammamma and Mount Mghila
  • the militarised zone south of the towns of El Borma and Dhehiba
  • within 20km of the rest of the Libya border area north of Dhehiba
  • the town of Ben Guerdane and immediate surrounding area

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to:

  • areas south of, and including, the towns of Nefta, Douz, Médenine, Zarzis
  • within 30km of the border with Algeria south of, and including, the town of Jendouba (this area includes the archaeological sites of Bulla Regia and Chemtou)
  • the governorate of Kasserine, including the town of Sbeitla

View the travel advice in full here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/tunisia

TRAVEL AWARE – Essential travel advice

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advi... and follow @FCOtravel and Facebook.com/FCOtravel

Current at 28th July 2017

Turkey update to certain Inbound flights

We have  received a notification from the Department of Transport regarding some changes to these measures for certain inbound flights from Turkey.  The UK government has confirmed that it has lifted a ban on carrying electronic devices in hand luggage on some flights to the UK and these changes apply to the following airlines and routes only:

  • Turkish Airlines from Istanbul Ataturk and Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen; and
  • Pegasus Airlines from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen and Izmir

The security measures for all other airlines and routes from Turkey to UK and for all flights from Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Tunisia to the UK remain in place.  

Turkey – FCO Travel Advice Update   The FCO have updated the travel advice for Turkey with amendments to Summary - updated information and advice following changes to the restrictions on carrying electronic items in the aircraft cabin on some flights to the UK from Turkey.  The applicable extract is as follows: Summary Additional security measures may apply to flights departing from Turkey to the UK. You should co-operate fully with security officials. For more information about how your flight may be affected, including if you’re transiting through Turkey on the way to the UK, read this guidance page and contact your airline or travel company if you have further questions. An extract from the guidance page is as follows:  The full guidance page can be accessed via this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/changes-to-uk-aviation-security Restrictions on carrying large phones, laptops and tablets in the cabin have been lifted on all UK bound flights from the following airport:   

  • Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen

Passengers on flights where restrictions have been lifted will now be able to take large phones, laptops, tablets and accessories into the cabin with them. Normal cabin baggage restrictions will continue to apply. This page will be updated on an airport-by-airport basis, once restrictions have been lifted on all affected airlines serving the airport in question.Passengers with questions about what the changes mean for them should contact their airlines for advice. This information is correct as of 28 July 2017. The overall level of FCO advice for Tukey has not changed and there are travel restrictions in place: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to within 10 km of the border with Syria and to the city of Diyarbakir. The FCO advice against all but essential travel to:

  • the remaining areas of Sirnak, Mardin, Sanliurfa, Gaziantep, Diyarbakir, Kilis and Hatay provinces
  • the provinces of Siirt, Tunceli and Hakkari

  We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as appropriate.   

FOR CUSTOMERS TRAVELLING TO: United States Of America

New US government airline security measures for outbound flights to the US from the UK, effective 19th July 2017

We would like to let customers know about increased security measures when travelling to the US in line with a directive from the US government. 

Customers who are boarding flights to the US may be requested to have additional checks on their electronic devices by airport security personnel. The electronic devices which may be subject to these additional checks include any phones larger than 16cm in length, 9.3cm in width and 1.5cm in depth), laptops, tablets, e-readers, power cables and their transformers. This only affects customers travelling on outbound flights to the US from the UK. If you have any concerns with any of your devices we would advise that you either leave these items at home or place these items into your hold luggage.

Please be aware that batteries and power banks cannot be carried in your hold luggage, and will have to be carried in your hand luggage.

Please also note that when airport security personnel check your devices they may be confiscated or destroyed if they show any signs of the below:

 ·         internal or external damage to the device

·         device having been tampered with

·         if the device cannot be removed from a protective case

·         if the device triggers the explosives trace detection alarm

We would like to thank customers for their patience and understanding at this time as we continue to put the safety of everyone travelling with us first. 



For the latest and up-to-date overseas travel advice refer to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website

Additional airline security measures, on some routes travelling to the UK, including mobile phones, laptops and tablets and peripheral devices

Updated 23.03.17 & 30.03.17

Additional hand luggage restrictions on some flights to the UK.

Large phones, laptops and tablets not allowed in the cabin on flights to the UK from Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Tunisia. On Tuesday 21 March the government announced new aviation security measures on all inbound direct flights to the UK from the following countries:

• Turkey
• Lebanon
• Jordan
• Egypt
• Tunisia
• Saudi Arabia

Under the new arrangements, passengers boarding flights from these countries to the UK will not be allowed to take phones, laptops and tablets which are larger than:

• length: 16.0cm
• width: 9.3cm
• depth: 1.5cm

into the cabin of the plane. Passengers with these devices should check with their airlines for more details on transporting these items. The additional security measures may cause some disruption for passengers and flights, and we understand the frustration that will cause, but our top priority will always be to maintain the safety of British nationals. Direct flights to the UK from these destinations can continue to operate to the UK subject to these new measures being in place. Travellers are advised to keep up-to-date with the latest FCO travel advice and to check online with their chosen carrier for further information.

The government have made further announcements appertaining to certain items known as peripheral devices which are now subject to the new security requirements.  Spare batteries and portable power sources can no longer be carried on board aircraft operating on affected routes in either cabin or hold baggage.

 The full news item regarding the new security measures can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/...

 Which devices are not allowed in the cabin?

• large phones
• all laptops
• all tablets and e-readers

Which flights and routes will this apply to?

These new measures will apply on all inbound direct flights travelling to the UK from the following countries:
• Turkey
• Lebanon
• Jordan
• Egypt
• Tunisia
• Saudi Arabia
Passengers travelling on these flights should check online with their carrier if they require further information.

Should I cancel my trip? Is it still safe to go to these countries?

These new measures are concerned with flights into the UK. The UK is not stopping direct flights to and from those countries. Those with imminent travel should contact their airline for further information. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office also publishes travel advice.

What’s a ‘normal sized mobile phone’?

Most smart phones will be allowed in the cabin, including many common popular handsets such as:
• iPhone 7 Plus
• Samsung Galaxy 7 Edge
• Samsung Galaxy Note 3
• LG G3
• Sony Xperia Z2

The new UK measures will mean that phones, laptops and tablets larger than:
• length: 16.0cm
• width: 9.3cm
• depth: 1.5cm
will not be allowed in the cabin.

Can I take items purchased from duty free on board?

Any phones, laptops or tablets larger than the above dimensions will not be allowed in the cabin, regardless of whether they were purchased in duty free.

Why are these measures not in place for flights travelling from the UK?

This applies to inbound flights. The UK has some of the most robust aviation security measures in the world but we keep this under constant review based on assessment of risk. More about hand luggage restrictions on electronic devices and items at UK airports.

What about any costs incurred as a result of this? And what if I want to cancel my flight can I get compensation?

This is matter for the airlines. We encourage them to take a customer focused approach.

How long will these measures be in place?

The UK has some of the most robust aviation security measures in the world and we will continue to take all the steps we believe are necessary to put in place security measures we believe will be effective and proportionate. We keep our aviation security measures under constant review.

Is this in response to a specific threat?

It is long standing government policy not to comment on intelligence matters.

Why isn’t the UK following the US and banning all personal electronic devices from the cabin, why only phones, laptops and tablets?

We are confident these measures are proportionate and effective.

What happens to passengers travelling from countries unaffected by the measures who are transferring to an affected flight?

Transfer passengers who board a flight on a route affected will be subject to the measures.

 What about peripheral devices?

The following peripheral devices, designed to be used with either a phone, laptop or tablet and exceeding any one of the following dimensions:
• length: 16.0cm
• width: 9.3cm
• depth: 1.5cm
will not be allowed in the cabin.

• keyboards
• power cable transformers
• external hard drives
will not be allowed on board the aircraft in either cabin or hold baggage.

• spare or separate device batteries
• portable power sources
existing safety regulations mean that spare batteries and portable power sources can no longer be carried on board aircraft operating on affected routes in either cabin or hold baggage.

Passengers should contact their airline for further information.

 

Zika Virus  

Update and advice for travellers including pregnant women and those planning pregnancy

Modified 10 January 2017

Advice for travellers has been updated based on epidemiological information.

Specific areas where current active Zika virus (ZIKV) transmission is ongoing are often difficult to determine, and subject to change over time. Areas with active (i.e. locally acquired cases in the last 3 months) or past ZIKV transmission have now been classified into 4 risk categories based on the current and potential epidemiological situation. 

The main outbreak region is currently South and Central America, the Caribbean,Oceania (Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia only) and South East Asia. Certain areas outside the main outbreak region are also reporting ZIKV cases. Public Health England (PHE) has provided an A-Z list of affected areas and information on the four risk categories ».

More information at:
› Zika virus update and advice for travellers including pregnant women
› Zika virus

FCO Travel Advice

The FCO offers advice about travelling abroad.  Visit the website for useful information on safety and security, entry requirements, natural disasters, health alerts, the political climate, and crime information. It also tells you what to do if something goes wrong.

Please check the FCO website for travel information or advice. Please use Foreign Travel Advice by Country directory for travel information associated with specific countries.

South Africa

13 March 2017

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have updated the travel advice for South Africa with an update to the Safety & Security (Water safety) section – updated information and advice about how to avoid rip currents.  The relevant extract of the advice is below for your reference:

Safety & Security

Water Safety

Beach conditions and local safety provisions vary considerably throughout the South African coastline and every year significant numbers of people drown due to the strong sea currents. Speak to local people who are familiar with the conditions, and check whether there are any flags and/or lifeguards before entering the water. Most beaches don’t have warning signs, flags or life-saving equipment.

Follow any warnings that are displayed and instructions issued by lifeguards. 

The overall level of the advice has not changed. There are no restrictions within the advice.

View the travel advice in full here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/south-africa

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