Temple, Taiwan
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Temple, Taiwan

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Taiwan Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

36,188 sq km (13,972 sq miles).

Population

23,395,600 (UN estimate 2016).

Population density

647 per sq km.

Capital

Taipei.

Government

Republic.

Head of state

President Tsai Ing-wen since 2016.

Head of government

Premier Su Tseng-chang since 2019.

Electricity

110 volts AC, 60Hz. American-style plugs with two flat pins (and sometimes a third grounding pin) are used.

Sitting pretty as one of Asia’s best-kept travel secrets, the spicy, scenic island of Taiwan makes a habit of smashing visitor preconceptions.

Outsiders tend to see this country as notable only for its technological prowess – an image reinforced by the global prominence of ‘Made in Taiwan’ stickers – but in reality this is a destination that serves up awe-inspiring panoramas, a rainbow of different cultures and a startlingly rich history.

Alongside night markets, cycle trails and hot springs, there are gleaming skyscrapers, hulking mountains and sparkling lakes. When you factor in the manageable size of the island, which is less than half the size of Scotland, the appeal becomes even more significant.

Taiwan is one of the few places on Earth where ancient religious and cultural practices still thrive in an overwhelmingly modernist landscape. This juxtaposition is expressed most clearly in Taipei, where futuristic marvels like Taipei 101 – one of the tallest buildings in the world – share the city with incense-fogged temples and indigenous communities.

This mix of different influences is wonderfully showcased by the island’s cuisine – a lip-smacking blend of Chinese, Japanese and aboriginal fare.

Like many aspects of life in Taiwan, its diverse cuisine makes sense when you look at the island’s history. Following five decades of Japanese rule, in 1949 a liberated Taiwan became a refuge for the Chinese Nationalist Party and their supporters, who fled here during the Chinese Civil War. To this day, Taiwan remains a product of this period – a maverick sovereign state still viewed with uneasiness by Beijing.

History buff or not, there’s much to enjoy in Taiwan. Away from the sleek towers of the cities, it’s the valleys, lakes and gorges of the countryside that tend to leave the greatest impression. The fact that comparatively few tourists make it here is more to do with a lack of awareness than a lack of things to do – hikers, cyclists, divers, surfers, pilgrims and gourmands will all find a little slice of heaven in this corner of Asia.

Travel Advice

Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Taiwan on the TravelHealthPro website

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When COVID levels in Taiwan were very low, every positive case was hospitalised, even in asymptomatic cases. Following the recent spike in cases, the approach is to hospitalise serious cases and admit less serious, including asymptomatic cases, into central quarantine facilities.

Entry and borders

See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Taiwan.

Returning to the UK

When you return, you must follow the rules for entering the UK.

You are responsible for organising your own COVID-19 test, in line with UK government testing requirements. You should contact local authorities for information on testing facilities.

Be prepared for your plans to change

No travel is risk-free during COVID. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.

Plan ahead and make sure you:

  • can access money
  • understand what your insurance will cover
  • can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned

Pre-Departure COVID-19 PCR Testing

Passengers travelling to the UK from Taiwan will be required to undertake a COVID-19 PCR test in the 3 days before their scheduled flight departs. Any individuals who receive a positive PCR test will not be permitted to board the aircraft and will instead be required to complete a mandatory 14 day quarantine in Taiwan. Individuals with mild symptoms will be admitted into a quarantine hotel or a centralised quarantine centre for this duration. Any individuals with more severe symptoms may be hospitalised. This applies to all nationalities and age groups and is irrespective of the purpose of their intended travel. The decision regarding these arrangements will be made by the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and on a case by case basis.

Any individuals who receive a positive COVID-19 PCR test will be contacted by their local health bureau to advise on their mandatory quarantine arrangements. Visit the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control website or contact their helpline on 1922 for further information.

For passengers travelling with children, you should check with your airline before you travel regarding the COVID-19 test requirements.

Further information regarding centralised quarantine centres can be found in the ‘Entry Requirements’ section.

Public spaces and services

Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has announced that the COVID-19 Level 2 alert will be extended across Taiwan until 18 October 2021. In line with the CECC’s general guidelines, the local authorities have advised that further localised epidemic prevention measures may be introduced in certain cities or counties depending on the COVID-19 situation in each location.

A Level 2 alert means the following measures are now in place:

  • Facemasks must be worn at all times outdoors, except when consuming food and beverages or in certain open space areas e.g. forests, mountains and beaches
  • Contact tracing procedures must be completed when entering restaurants, shops and some public places
  • Social distancing must be maintained in public areas
  • Restaurants will permitted to offer dine-in services provided they adhere to Ministry of Health and Welfare regulations
  • Public eating areas in supermarkets, shopping malls and convenience stores are permitted to open
  • Wedding banquets, public funerals and indoor religious activities are now permitted

You should refer to the Taiwan’s Centres for Diseases Control website for further information on the epidemic prevention measures in your area.

Those who breach Taiwan’s epidemic prevention measures may face a fine of up to NTD $1,000,000.

Please refer to the ‘Entry Requirements’ section for further information regarding transport requirements for all passengers arriving in Taiwan from overseas.

Travel in Taiwan

Although there is no lockdown in place, the authorities are encouraging people to limit travel between cities and regions to reduce the risk of COVID spread.

Taxis and public transport systems are operating normally in Taiwan. The wearing of face masks is mandatory on all public transport. If you use public transport and are not wearing a face mask, you may be fined up to NT$15,000.

Accommodation

From 27 June 2021, all passengers arriving directly from 5 designated countries, including the UK, or those who have been in one of these countries in the preceding 14 days, are required to complete their mandatory 14 day quarantine at a designated quarantine facility. This is due to concern about the Delta variant.

Passengers arriving into Taiwan from anywhere else will be required to complete their mandatory 14 day quarantine at a quarantine hotel or a designated quarantine facility and will be required to pay for this.

In no circumstances will travellers arriving into Taiwan be able to quarantine in their own residence.

See Entry requirements for more information.

For a list of designated quarantine hotels in Taipei, please visit Taipei City Government’s FAQ page. If you are planning to stay in a hotel outside of Taipei, you may need to contact the local authority in that area prior to booking or making final arrangements. For more information and contact details, please visit the Taiwan Tourism Bureau’s ‘Taiwan Stay’ website.

Healthcare in Taiwan

If you are in Taiwan and believe you may have been exposed to or may have contracted coronavirus, your first point of contact should be the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC) helpline which is 1922. If you are unable to speak to anyone at the CDC you can telephone the British Office, Taipei for support.

For contact details for English speaking doctors, visit our list of healthcare providers.

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health.

View Health for further details on healthcare in Taiwan.

See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.

COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Taiwan

Wherever possible British nationals should aim to be vaccinated in the country/territory where they live. We will update this page when the Taiwanese authorities announce new information on their vaccination programme. You can sign up to get email notifications when this page is updated.

The Taiwan vaccination programme started in March 2021 and is using the AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines. British nationals resident in Taiwan are eligible for vaccination.

The Taiwanese authorities have released an online reservation system for booking a COVID-19 vaccination appointment in Taiwan. Foreign nationals who hold an Alien Resident Card (ARC) and National Health Insurance (NHI) card will be required to complete an online form and provide their contact information to register. Foreign nationals who do not hold a National Health Insurance card will be required to provide their ARC UI number and passport number in order to register. The local health department in the applicant’s area will contact the individual once an appointment has been scheduled. Vaccine priority groups and other criteria will apply.

The Taiwan Ministry of Labour has prepared an English guide on how to book a COVID-19 vaccination through the official vaccination reservation platform.

In light of the increase of locally transmitted COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, the local authorities have announced that reservations for self-paid coronavirus vaccinations for overseas travel purposes, have been suspended until further notice.

Visit the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control website for further information on the vaccine roll-out in Taiwan.

Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad.

If you’re a British national living in Taiwan, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider. Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status, should be available from local authorities.

Finance

For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.

Further information

If you need urgent consular assistance, see Consular assistance

Monitor the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control website for measures that Taiwan is taking to combat coronavirus.

Road travel

To drive in Taiwan you will need to get an International Driving Permit (IDP). You can get the IDP over the counter from 2,500 UK Post Offices. You will not be able to buy an IDP outside the UK, so get one before you travel. Once in Taiwan, you will need to take your passport, IDP and a passport photograph to the nearest Vehicle Registration Department and apply for a driver’s licence visa, which will then be secured in your IDP.

If you’re staying in Taiwan longer term and wish to drive, you may need to get a local driving licence in order to comply with local laws and regulations. At present, it’s not possible to exchange a UK driving licence for a local driving licence. Do not drive a vehicle without a valid licence.

The alcohol limit for drivers in Taiwan is lower than in the UK. The current legal limit is 0.15 micrograms of alcohol per 1000 millilitres of breath or 0.03% blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Driving while over the limit can result in heavy fines and imprisonment. Passengers may also be fined.

Be alert crossing roads, even on protected crossings.

Advance fee frauds

Individuals and companies in the UK (and elsewhere) often receive letters, faxes and e-mails, offering them large sums of money provided they send various ‘advance fees’ to Taiwanese bank accounts. Fraudsters obtain contact details from telephone or commercial directories, so recipients are not being specifically targeted.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) investigates advance fee frauds in the UK. Do not reply to these types of communication. The NCA website contains more information on this type of fraud.

Consular assistance

The UK does not have diplomatic relations with Taiwan. The British Assistance and Services Section of the British Office Taipei can provide certain limited consular assistance. In cases of genuine emergency, the British Office may be able to issue you with an emergency travel document.

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Taiwan, attacks can’t be ruled out.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism.

You should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places visited by foreigners.

There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

You should avoid any involvement with illegal drugs, which includes cannabis, whilst in Taiwan. Drug laws are stricter than in the UK, and involvement with illegal drugs, which includes cannabis, can attract strong sentences. Legal definitions of what constitute supply or trafficking may vary substantially from in the UK, including the quantities of drugs involved. If you’re found guilty of smuggling, trafficking, possession or use of illegal narcotics you can expect to receive a severe jail sentence or, in some cases, the death penalty.

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Taiwan set and enforce entry rules. For further information contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to. You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Travel ban on foreign nationals

The authorities have announced a temporary ban on foreign nationals entering, or transiting, Taiwan, with the exception of residents, foreign spouses of Taiwan passport holders and their children under the age of 20, international students, foreign professors and researchers. All foreign nationals will be required to have obtained the correct entry permissions and a visa before they arrive in Taiwan. Currently there is no set date for when these border measures will be lifted. Exceptions may be made for emergency or humanitarian reasons. Contact your local Taipei Representative Office for further information.

Anyone entering Taiwan will be required to follow the quarantine requirements set out below.

Quarantine requirements for passengers arriving in Taiwan from the UK and other listed countries

All passengers arriving directly from 5 designated countries, the UK, India, Myanmar, Israel and Indonesia, or those who have been in one of these countries in the preceding 14 days, are required to complete their mandatory 14 day quarantine at a designated quarantine facility. The cost of the quarantine will be covered by the Taiwanese authorities.

Passengers will be required to undergo a COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival at the quarantine facility and one day before the end of their mandatory 14 day quarantine period. A positive test will mean hospitalisation. A further self-administered rapid COVID-19 test will be required between the sixth and seventh day of the self-health management period. The result of this test should be submitted to the CECC via the instructions provided. For passengers who arrived in Taiwan on or before 3 October 2021, you will be required to complete the self-administered rapid COVID-19 test between the 10th and 12th day of your quarantine. You will not be required to complete a further self-administered rapid COVID-19 test during your self-health management period.

This applies to all nationalities and is irrespective of the purpose of travel. An additional 7 day self-health management period is required for all passengers who have completed their quarantine.

Quarantine requirements for passengers arriving in Taiwan from non-listed countries

Passengers arriving into Taiwan from anywhere else will be required to complete their mandatory 14 day quarantine at a quarantine hotel or a designated quarantine facility and will be required to pay for this. Travellers arriving into Taiwan will not be able to quarantine in their own residence.

All passengers will be required to undergo a COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival at the airport and a second test will be required upon finishing their mandatory 14 day quarantine. A further self-administered rapid COVID-19 test will be required between the sixth and seventh day of their self-health management period. The result of this test should be submitted to the CECC via the instructions provided. For passengers who arrived in Taiwan on or before 3 October 2021, you will be required to complete the self-administered rapid COVID-19 test between the 10th and 12th day of your quarantine. You will not be required to complete a further self-administered rapid COVID-19 test during your self-health management period.The costs of these COVID-19 PCR tests and the home-based rapid COVID-19 test will be covered by the local authorities.

All passengers arriving in Taiwan will be required to take designated transport to their quarantine location.
Public transport and other means of travel are prohibited.

You should refer to the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for further information regarding entry and quarantine requirements in Taiwan. A link to the CDC’s FAQ page can be found on the CDC website.

The Taiwanese authorities have provided the following information about the quarantine centres:

  • Quarantine centres are designated locations selected by the Central Epidemic Command Centre (CECC). Designated locations include: Government owned facilities, student dorms and hotels. There are currently a total of 43 quarantine centres located across northern, central and southern Taiwan
  • Upon arrival in Taiwan, transportation will be arranged by the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
  • Costs for travellers in the UK programme will be paid for by the Taiwan authorities
  • All travellers in the UK programme will be transferred to a Quarantine Centre designated by the CECC, and will not be able to request a specific location or room
  • Quarantine centres provide 3 meals per day. Meals will be delivered to people’s rooms and consumed there
  • You will not be allowed to leave your room or go into another individual’s room during this period. In a case of an emergency, all individuals must follow the instructions provided by the quarantine centre
  • In principle, only 1 person is allowed per room. For young children under the age of 12, and individuals who may require health and medical care, one family member would be allowed to stay in the same room with this individual, however, masks must be worn at all times. Requests for exemptions will be reviewed by the quarantine centre in question
  • Relatives are not allowed to have physical contact with any individual during quarantine; however, they would be able to deliver packages to the individual by handing this to the reception staff at the quarantine centre. This would then be passed to the individual
  • Passengers are not permitted to bring any pets into the quarantine facility
  • Due to safety concerns the following items are not accepted: fresh products including fruit and vegetables, high power-consuming electronic appliances and other dangerous items such as lighters and knifes. Alcohol consumption and smoking is prohibited in the quarantine centre
  • Room facilities: all rooms are equipped with Wi-Fi, a kettle and a television
  • Upon departure from the quarantine centre, all passengers are required to make their own further travel arrangements

If you have any questions regarding the quarantine centres, contact the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Screening on arrival

All passengers arriving or transiting in Taiwan are required to present a certificate of a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test in order to be able to board their flight to Taiwan. Any exemption due to exceptional circumstances will require prior approval before departure. This test needs to have taken place within three working days before the date of departure. Test Certificates of a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR must be issued by a recognised medical institution in the country of departure and include the following information:

  • the passenger’s full name as per their passport,
  • the date of birth or passport number of the traveller,
  • specimen collection date and test report date,
  • the virus name, testing method and the test result.

Test Certificates are required to be produced in either English or Chinese; however, in situations where the passenger provides a certificate in either French or Spanish, if the certificate is in the official language of the place of departure, and ground personnel of the airline are able to assist with the inspection of the content, the certificate may be accepted.

Any passenger who presents COVID-19 symptoms will be required to complete a COVID-19 test upon arrival.

Anyone found to provide false or incorrect test results, or evade or obstruct the quarantine measures, may face a fine of between NT$10,000 to NT$150,000 and further criminal charges.

Refer to the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control for further information regarding Test Exemptions, Test Certificates and COVID-19 test requirements.

You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.

Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) and Alien Permanent Resident Certificate (APRC) holders

If you already hold a valid Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) or Alien Permanent Resident Certificate (APRC), you do not require a visa to enter Taiwan. For more information, you should visit the website of the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC). If you are in Taiwan you can also contact the ‘Information For Foreigners In Taiwan’ helpline on 0800-024-111.

If you are unsure if you are permitted to enter Taiwan, or you have further questions about entry restrictions and conditions, you should contact your local Taipei Representative Office (TRO) or airline before you attempt to travel. Entry procedures are being regularly reviewed, so may change at short notice.

Visa extensions

The Taiwanese authorities announced in March that travellers already in Taiwan who arrived under a visa waiver, visitor visa or landing visa before 21 March 2020, and had not overstayed their entry conditions, would be granted an automatic 30-day extension of their stay. This has now been extended by further 30 day periods. The extension will be applied automatically, no application is required. Your total period of stay, including extensions, cannot exceed 660 days (comprised of 180 days on a visitor visa, plus 16 automatic 30 day extensions). For more information, you should contact the National Immigration Agency (NIA).

If you arrived after 21 March 2020, your maximum stay is determined by your visa. If you wish to stay over 180 days, you may apply to do so if you have a legitimate reason for needing to remain in Taiwan or are unable to leave. Restrictions apply and not all British nationals will be eligible. You cannot apply more than 15 days before the 180 day point. For more information, you should contact the National Immigration Agency (NIA). The British Office is unable to issue letters or endorsements to support any application to remain.

Transiting Taiwan

Due to COVID-19 related border restrictions, foreign nationals are not currently permitted to transit in Taiwan. Rules and procedures may change at short notice. For further information, you should contact your airline or travel

Regular entry requirements

Visas

These visa rules do not apply at present, please refer to entry rules in response to COVID-19 for the latest information.

You may spend up to 90 days in Taiwan without a visa. You can then extend this by a further 90 days once you have entered Taiwan. If you plan to stay in Taiwan for longer than 180 days you must have a visa before you arrive.

Specific rules exist for naturalised British Citizens born in the People’s Republic of China and holders of British National (Overseas) passports wishing to enter under the visa waiver scheme.

For further information on entry requirements, contact the Taipei Representative Office in London, 50 Grosvenor Gardens, London, SW1W 0EB, telephone: 020 7881 2650 or in Edinburgh, 1 Melville Street, Edinburgh EH3 7PE, telephone: 01312 206886.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of six months from the date of entry into Taiwan.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Taiwan. If you’re entering Taiwan using an Emergency Travel Document (ETD), you must apply for a visit visa before travelling (unless you’re travelling from mainland China, in which case you can get a visa on arrival).

Customs regulations

You should not enter Taiwan with animal products without prior authorisation as those caught smuggling products may face heavy fines. Due to recent reports of African Swine Fever Virus (ASF) in pork products, particularly from the People’s Republic of China (PRC), local authorities have increased quarantine checks and inspections

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Taiwan on the TravelHealthPro website

See the healthcare information in the Coronavirus section for information on what to do if you think you have coronavirus while in Taiwan.

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country or territory-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country/territory-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist are available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Medication

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries and territories. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines.

If you’re bringing any prescribed medicine into Taiwan, you should bring the prescription issued by your doctor, hospital or clinic that shows the medicine is for your personal use. The amount of medication you bring must be consistent with the amount stated on the prescription. Cannabis oil and cannabis derived medication, even if legally prescribed elsewhere, cannot be brought into Taiwan.

For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact
the Taipei Representative Office in London.

Medical treatment

Taiwan has adequate health and dental facilities to handle routine, emergency and outpatient treatment. Some have English-speaking staff. Hospitals operate on a ’pay as you use’ basis. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 119 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment. Unlike the UK, it is not normal practice for a paramedic to accompany an ambulance.

Health risks

There has been a significant increase in cases of dengue fever. Cases are usually concentrated in the south of Taiwan (including the cities of Kaohsiung and Tainan) and are highest during the summer months. See the Taiwan Centre for Disease Control website for more information. You should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Tropical cyclones

The tropical cyclone (typhoon) season in Taiwan normally runs from May to November. There’s a risk of road blockages and landslides following typhoons, especially in central and southern Taiwan.

Listen to Typhoon Alerts on ICRT, BCC and PRS radio stations, or alternatively monitor the websites of the Taiwan Central Weather Bureau, Japan Meteorological Agency, ICRT and DGPA (Announcement of Office and School Closures in Taiwan).

See our tropical cyclones page for advice about how to prepare effectively and what to do if you’re likely to be affected by a hurricane or tropical cyclone.

Check the Central Weather Bureau website and the Directorate General of Highways website before travelling.

Earthquakes

Earthquakes do occur in Taiwan. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency website has advice about what to do before, during and after an earthquake.

Western Union, Moneygram and Travellers Express have offices in Taipei, but operating hours are restricted. It is not possible to exchange Scottish or Northern Irish bank notes. Bank transfers can be slow. Some branches of The Bank of Taiwan and HSBC will accept British credit cards, but you will incur handling charges. ATMs are plentiful but not all accept British bankcards (most ATMs in 7-11 convenience stores accept international cards). Designated banks will accept American Express, Citibank or Thomas Cook travellers’ cheques but you should be prepared to produce your purchase certificate or receipt as well as your passport when cashing them. If in doubt, check whether your travellers’ cheques will be accepted in Taiwan before you travel.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the FCDO in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.

Travel safety

The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of FCDO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice team a request.

Further help

If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.