Information: Foreign Travel Advice


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TheLocalYokel

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How many people bother to read the fire escape map on the back of the hotel door? I bet very few.
It's the first thing my wife does when we reach a hotel room. Many's the 'discussions' she's had with hotel managers when she's believed the instructions are unclear and on at least one occasion in Scotland completely absent.

We always pay attention to the flight safety briefings too even though we've flown with the same aircraft type and airline on many previous occasions. What would those passengers who pay no attention think if the pilots decided to give their pre-flight checks a miss as they'd done them so often in the past? As for passengers who insist on releasing their seat belts before the aircraft comes to a stop on stand and before the captain has switched off the seat belt signs, words fail me.
 

TheLocalYokel

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How many people bother to read the fire escape map on the back of the hotel door? I bet very few.
It's the first thing my wife does when we reach a hotel room. Many's the 'discussions' she's had with hotel managers when she's believed the instructions are unclear and on at least one occasion in Scotland completely absent.

We always pay attention to the flight safety briefings too even though we've flown with the same aircraft type and airline on many previous occasions. What would those passengers who pay no attention think if the pilots decided to give their pre-flight checks a miss as they'd done them so often in the past? As for passengers who insist on releasing their seat belts before the aircraft comes to a stop on stand and before the captain has switched off the seat belt signs, words fail me.
 

Jerry

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As for passengers who insist on releasing their seat belts before the aircraft comes to a stop on stand and before the captain has switched off the seat belt signs, words fail me.
That seems to happen a lot. A few times on my US flights people are trying to get their luggage out of the overheads while the aircraft is taxiing and the cabin crew has told them off, one woman even decided to go to the toilet bringing the whole aircraft to a stop on the taxiway for about 5 mins at a pretty busy airport.
 

michael

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Could I ask for some advice please on behalf of some american friends, they travel next week from Washington to Amsterdam and then on to Budapest. On their way home they travel Nuremberg to Paris CDG and then on to Washington. Their travel agent has arranged the flights and has given them 90 minutes transfer time in AMS and just 80 minutes in CDG. Travel is on KLM/Air France all the way and their luggage will be checked through. They're now panicking that they may not have enough transfer time, especially in CDG. I know there are plenty of forum members who use both airports so having never been to either airport myself what do forum members think, are they going to struggle? The flight out of CDG will be the A380 . Thanks in advance
 

Jerry

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They're now panicking that they may not have enough transfer time, especially in CDG. I know there are plenty of forum members who use both airports so having never been to either airport myself what do forum members think, are they going to struggle?
With Amsterdam they should be fine they will have to go through immigration when they go into the Schengen Zone but when i did it in reverse the other week there was a fast track queue for people on tight connections. Paris CDG is different Air France use Terminal 2 but that is split up into different sections which is accessible by trains between the individual sections and they'll have to go through security and as they are leaving the Schengen immigration as well i can only guess CDG has the same fast track for tight connectons as AMS. If i was them i would try and find out what part of the airport they are arriving to and departing from. I have done a US to UK transfer at CDG but i'll be honest i felt i had to rush all the way and that was roughly about the same time wise as your friends as a result i will always pick AMS as it's a much better experience.
 

Jerry

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Thanks very much Jerry, I bet they haven't thought about Schengen,
Yeah when I did my trip to Barcelona the Spanish had machines and it was quick and easy so hopefully CDG will be the same but I've never used it so can't say for certain. Amsterdam was manned and a bit slow for me but they did have a fast track for short connections. I've used KLM/Air France/Delta for a while now and I've had 2 major delays and they've looked after me both times.
 

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UK foreign Office Advise Update

The FCO now advise against all but essential travel to Sri Lanka, due to the current evolving security situation following attacks on 21 April 2019; Terrorism section and summary - updated information and advice for British nationals in Sri Lanka
 

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Aviador

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The Foreign Office has just updated its travel advise and now warns against all travel to mainland China due to the Corona virus.
The following summary is from the Foreign Office website and contains additional links to further information.
Summary
Still current at:28 January 2020 Updated:28 January 2020 Latest update:
The FCO continue to advise against all travel to Hubei Province, and now advise against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao)​
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to Hubei Province due to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak. If you’re in this area and able to leave, you should do so.​
The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao). The Chinese government continue to impose further restrictions on movement within China in response to the coronavirus outbreak. It may become harder over the coming weeks for those who wish to leave China to do so. If you feel that you may want to leave China soon, you should consider making plans to do so before any further restrictions may be imposed.​
Due to increasing travel restrictions and difficulty accessing medical assistance, the FCO is working to make an option available for British nationals to leave Hubei Province. This may happen quickly and with short notice. If you’re a British national in Hubei Province and need assistance, contact our 24/7 number +86 (0) 10 8529 6600 or the FCO in London on (+44) (0)207 008 1500 to register your desire to leave before 29 January at 11am local time. You will be contacted once arrangements are confirmed.​
On 23 January the Wuhan authorities closed all transport hubs including airports, railway and bus stations. Some shops and amenities are closed; public events have been cancelled and Chinese authorities have advised the public to avoid crowds. Travel restrictions are also in place in other cities in Hubei Province.​
The Chinese authorities are focused on tackling the impact of the virus in different ways, many of which are likely to impact British nationals in all areas of China, not just Hubei province. These include temperature checks at transport hubs and other locations; quarantine arrangements for travel between different parts of the country; and restrictions on travel between and within cities. Medical facilities across the country are under significant pressure. Some are not accepting patients and others have long queues. Some businesses have closed. Many tourist attractions are closed. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism has suspended all tour group companies’ activities to prevent further virus spread.​
Public Health England has offered advice to travellers. You should comply with any additional screening measures put in place by the local authorities. For more information and advice, visit the TravelHealthPro website. See Health
You should always take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.​
British nationals normally need a visa to enter mainland China, including Hainan Island, but not Hong Kong or Macao. See Visas
The typhoon season in China normally runs from May to November. You should monitor the progress of approaching storms and follow the advice of the local authorities. See Natural disasters
Foreign nationals over the age of 16 must carry their passport at all times. See Local laws and customs
You must register your place of residence with the local Public Security Bureau within 24 hours of arrival. See Entry requirements
China has a zero tolerance policy on drugs. There are severe penalties for drugs-related offences including the death penalty. Police often raid bars and nightclubs checking for the use of illicit substances. Raids on private homes have also occurred. See Local laws and customs
Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in China. Although foreigners haven’t been specifically targeted, attacks may occur in places visited by foreigners. You should take particular care during national holidays or when transiting public transport hubs, and always follow the advice of the local authorities. Previous attacks have targeted public places including on one occasion at a railway station and an open air market in 2014. There have been no recent attacks in the main tourist areas. The risk is higher in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region. You should take particular care and remain vigilant when travelling to or within Xinjiang. See Terrorism
Don’t attempt to travel to Tibet without getting the correct permits. The Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) can be closed to foreigners without notice. See Tibet and the Tibet Autonomous Region
Police have the power to detain or prevent you from leaving China if you’re involved in or connected to a business and/or civil dispute. See Local laws and customs and Safety and security
In light of ongoing protests and demonstrations in Hong Kong, there are reports of greater scrutiny from mainland authorities at border crossings between the mainland and Hong Kong. This includes reports that travellers’ electronic devices have been checked at border crossings. You should be aware that the thresholds for detention and prosecution in China differ from those in Hong Kong. See Local laws and customs and Safety and security
China doesn’t recognise dual nationality. If you have both British and Chinese nationality you may be treated as a Chinese citizen by local authorities, even if you enter China on your British passport. If this is the case, the British Embassy may not be able to offer you consular assistance. The FCO has published guidance on nationality in China. If you’ve formally renounced Chinese citizenship, you should carry evidence that you have done so. See Local laws and customs
High levels of air pollution can occur in major urban and industrialised areas in China, and may aggravate bronchial, sinus or asthma conditions. Children, the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions may be especially affected. You can check the pollution index levels for many cities in real time. See Health
Territorial disputes between China and neighbouring countries have caused high regional tension. There have been anti-Japanese and anti-Korean demonstrations in several cities across China. See Political situation
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.​
The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.​
 

Aviador

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The Foreign & Commonwealth Office now "advice against travelling overseas for an indefinite period"


The statement has sent the travel industry into disarray because there's no indication how long indefinite could mean.
 

TheLocalYokel

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The Foreign & Commonwealth Office now "advice against travelling overseas for an indefinite period"


The statement has sent the travel industry into disarray because there's no indication how long indefinite could mean.
Not really a surprise because no-one knows how long this travel advice will be needed. Probably better to do it this way rather than a series of perhaps unrealistic dates that keep having to be extended.
 

Aviador

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The only thing is the travel industry needs certainty and by extending the dates by a period of a couple of weeks at a time allows people to plan and make the necessary adjustments whether that be to alter departure dates or refund.
 

TheLocalYokel

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The only thing is the travel industry needs certainty and by extending the dates by a period of a couple of weeks at a time allows people to plan and make the necessary adjustments whether that be to alter departure dates or refund.
But if the dates are continually put back there is no certainty. If the FCO had extended its advice until, say, the end of April and then had to extend the deadline again into May I can't see how that helps anyone.

We have a broadly related situation with a UK holiday. We know the holiday won't go ahead because the hotel has been closed for an indefinite period by its owners and they are not taking bookings until at least the end of June. However, the tour company is refusing to cancel the hoiday at the moment because government restrictions on social distancing don't extend until the end of May when the holiday was due to start.

They will have to cancel the holiday eventually but in the meantime we have to either pay the balance or pull out of the contract and lose our deposit which has already been paid. So we pay the balance in the certain knowledge that the holiday won't happen and we shan't get any money back for a long time because ABTA is advising its members to deal with cancelled holidays by issuing a refund credit note rather than a cash refund. The hope is that customers will use the refund credit note to book another holiday with the same tour operator in the future.

Because of the incremental nature of government action in our instance the tour company is hiding behind that. It doesn't help to provide us with any certainty even if it benefits the trade.
 

Aviador

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The problem is when using the term "indefinitely", tour companies are not obliged to refund unless the date of your holiday alapses. It makes it incredibly difficult for the industry to react and make necessary changes. At least if a date is given, even if is extended, it allows the tour companies time to plan and it allows their customers a chance to potentially rebook.
 

Aviador

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We are just about all familiar with the governments travel advise that advises us against all but essential travel to any country for an indefinite period. Just to elaborate further on that, here is some more in depth information available from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Do not travel abroad unless it’s essential
The FCO advised British people against all non-essential travel worldwide. This applies for an indefinite period due to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions. All countries may restrict travel without notice.​
To change or cancel your travel plans, follow these steps:​
  1. contact your airline, travel company, cruise line or other transport and accommodation providers
    1. get in touch with your insurance provider
The FCO was already advising against all but essential travel or all travel to some areas or countries due to risks that do not relate to COVID-19. This advice remains in place. Check FCO travel advice pages for the latest information.​
If your travel is essential, see our guidance on international travel.​
International freight transport is an essential activity in the context of travel advice. Read the Department for Transport guidance for the freight transport industry.​
When you return to the UK: protect yourself and others
The National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) provides advice on how to stay safe as you travel by air.​
When you return to the UK on a flight from another country, you should follow the government advice that applies to everyone:​
  • go straight home from the airport, avoiding public transport where possible. Only people living in your household, for example a family member, should collect you from the airport. If you need to travel on to Scotland, see the Traveline Scotlandguidance
    • stay at home and only go outside for food, health reasons, daily exercise or work if you absolutely cannot work from home
    • if you go out: always stay 2 metres (6 feet) away from other people, do not touch your face, and wash your hands frequently, including as soon as you get home
If you start to have symptoms like a high temperature or frequent cough, go straight home and self-isolate for 7 days. See the guidance for households with a possible infection and call NHS 111 if your symptoms worsen.​
For further guidance, visit gov.uk/coronavirus or visit nhs.uk for specialist medical advice.​
The most up to date details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus
 

airforced

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Thanks for reminding us Aviador of what the guidance is.

However, isn't it about time more concise guidance was published as what we have today is really not too helpful to anyone? It doesn't help individuals make a decision. It hinders tour operators and airlines as it is so open ended. It also ignores (I don't know how they would rephrase it though) the various restrictions in place in individual countries which probably would have a material effect on individuals decision making processes (beaches open or not, partial facility opening/closures and social distancing measures etc to say nothing of the perceived/real problem of sitting crammed up next to other people on an aeroplane/coach. The list of potential problems is almost endless and I don't know how they might be overcome until this is over whenever that is

I suspect that, however hard the Industry tries, summer 2020 is a dead duck.
 

Aviador

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@airforced I've moved replies to the thread "Airline and Travel Industry recovery from Covid-19" which is dedicated to the discussion.
 

airforced

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Here is a link to a piece in Greek Travel Pages which talks about the WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council) suggesting that there will need to be a concerted approach by all the interested bodies and countries to standards in air travel if the public are to regain trust and be willing to recommence travel by air. Link https://gtp.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=66962f017e7fc449da5b8e2f7&id=a52d353ece&e=25b63d92e2

Forget ideas like leaving the middle seat empty but an approach that everyone can sign up to has to be found if airlines are to start operating profitably again. However I will wait and see if everyone can agree before passing judgement (and flying again).
 
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