Seokguram Grotto, South Korea
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Seokguram Grotto, South Korea

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South Korea Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

99,720 sq km (38,502 sq miles) excluding demilitarised zone.

Population

50,503,933 (UN estimate 2016).

Population density

492.5 per sq km.

Capital

Seoul.

Government

Republic.

Head of state

President Moon Jae-in since 2017.

Head of government

Kim Boo Kyum since 2021.

Electricity

220 volts AC, 60Hz. European-style plugs with two round pins are used.

South Korea can come across as inscrutable at first glance. It’s a land of stark contrasts and wild contradictions; a place where tradition and technology are equally embraced; where skyscrapers loom over ancient temples; and where the frantic pace of life is offset by the serenity of nature. The country’s unique customs and etiquette can seem like a trap laid for foreigners, but arrive with a smile and a respectful attitude and you will be welcomed with open arms by some of the friendliest folk on the planet.

Koreans are fiercely proud of their country, and with good reason. The Korean peninsula has a storied history and this colourful heritage is woven into the fabric of this land. The capital, Seoul, is home to a number of historic highlights, including the spectacular Joseon-era Gyeongbokgung Palace, “the great south gate” of Namdaemun and the eerie Seodaemun Prison – all tucked away amid gleaming offices, giant shopping centres, world-class restaurants and hipster bars.

The rest of the country is also littered with fortresses, temples and palaces. Visitors will enjoy the grassy burial mounds of ancient kings in Gyeongju, the Seokbulsa Temple in Busan, which has been carved out of a rock, and the infamous demilitarised zone, a biodiverse no-man’s-land separating South and North Korea. It is a scary place, where acres of barbed wire are patrolled by heavily-armed guards on both sides, yet the tension is so trumped up it feels like you’ve stumbled onto a Hollywood film set.

But it's not all about history. When it comes to nature, South Korea is wonderfully diverse, with spectacular national parks, remote sandy beaches, hot spring islands and rugged mountain peaks. Gastronomes are well catered for, too, but you may have to open your mind before your mouth; local specialities include kimchi (pickled cabbage) and makgeolli (rice wine).

South Korea can sometimes seem like the most foreign place on Earth; an unfathomable destination of curious customs, strange food and jarring paradoxes. Ultimately, that’s what makes it so exciting.

Travel Advice

Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for South Korea 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.

International travel

Korean Air and Asiana are running direct flights from London to Seoul. Restrictions based on nationality and visa type have been lifted for regularly scheduled flights, but remain in place for some specially chartered flights.

Airline and ticket booking websites do not typically highlight in the booking process which flights have nationality or visa restrictions. You should contact the airline before booking to confirm that you will be eligible to take your desired flight based on your nationality and visa. Passengers who are ineligible to take a flight may be refused check-in even if they have purchased a ticket.

If you are travelling with Korean Air from London to Seoul in July 2021, please note that flights on Tuesdays have nationality restrictions while flights on Saturdays do not. British nationals should book onto a Saturday flight. Do not book a Tuesday flight. Further information on Korean Air flight restrictions can be found on their Covid-19 Flight Status page.

You should remain aware of the quarantine requirements on entry. See Entry requirements.

Entry and borders

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

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.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.

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

Public spaces and services

Face masks are compulsory in public places and on public transport. Failure to wear a mask can result in a fine of up to 100,000 Korean Won (£66). There is a limited exception to this rule if you have received at least one vaccine shot, are outside, can maintain at least a 2 metre distance from others, and are outside of Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi.

South Korea currently has a four-level national social distancing scale.

For full details of the current restrictions and requirements you should check the South Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) and Ministry of Health and Welfare websites (English). You can find information on any local variations in COVID-19 restrictions and requirements on metropolitan and provincial government websites as follows:

Healthcare in South Korea

Make sure you have up to date, comprehensive health insurance.

Visit our overview of medical treatment in South Korea.

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 South Korea.

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

The Seoul Municipal Government website (English) also provides a list of the COVID-19 screening facilities in the Seoul city area.

If you are in South Korea, you can dial 1339 for the South Korean authorities’ telephone helpline that provides information in English regarding COVID-19 issues.

COVID-19 vaccines if you live in South Korea

Wherever possible British nationals should aim to be vaccinated in the country where they live. As further information is available about the national vaccination programme, this page will be updated. Sign up to get email notifications.

Information and details of the national vaccination programme was published by the Korean Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) (only available in Korean) on 17 February.

Long-term foreign nationals in South Korea aged 60 and over are eligible to register for free vaccinations to be administered by the end of June. Military personnel and their direct family members, employees in “essential social fields” (including firefighters, police and coastguards), individuals with chronic kidney disease, care workers, some teachers and childcare workers, and some healthcare workers are also eligible.

Plans for the vaccine rollout in July-September, for which most resident foreign nationals will continue to be eligible, were published on 17 June as follows:

  • Individuals aged 60-74 who have not yet received their vaccinations will be prioritised
  • Childcare and nursery workers and kindergarten, primary school and middle school teachers will be eligible to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines starting in July
  • From the week of 19 July, Year 12 students and high school teachers will be eligible to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine
  • From the week of 26 July (with registration opening beforehand), individuals aged 55-59 will be eligible to receive a vaccination, to be followed in due course by individuals aged 50-54
  • From August, individuals aged 49 and below will be eligible to register for vaccination appointments

You should confirm your eligibility with the Korean authorities before booking your vaccination. To check your eligibility or book a vaccination, you should visit the KDCA website or contact the KDCA by phone from South Korea on 1339 (English language support is available).

If you are eligible to be vaccinated according to the general criteria (see above), in addition to booking vaccination appointments via the KDCA you may be able to book an appointment at short notice to receive a “leftover vaccine”. This is a vaccine dose that was not administered because the intended recipient did not attend their vaccination appointment. Foreign nationals who belong to the Korean national health insurance scheme can use this service. “Leftover vaccine” appointments can be booked through the KakaoTalk and Naver apps (in Korean), on a first-come-first-served basis. You should look for guidance on this process (in Korean) inside the apps themselves or on the KakaoTalk and Naver websites.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the UK authority responsible for assessing the safety, quality and efficacy of vaccines. It has authorised the Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca, Moderna and Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) vaccines for temporary supply and use in the UK. Find out more about MHRA approval for these vaccines.

British nationals living overseas should seek medical advice from their local healthcare provider in the country where they reside. Information about vaccines used in other national programmes, including regulatory status, should be available from the local authorities. This list of Stringent Regulatory Authorities recognised by the World Health Organisation may also be a useful source of additional information. Find out more information about the COVID-19 vaccines on the World Health Organization COVID-19 vaccines page.

Finance

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

Help and support

If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.

Further information

Further advice and details on confirmed cases can be found on the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare website in English and Korean. South Korea’s Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) also provides daily updates in English and in Korean.

Political situation

In April 2018, North Korea announced a halt to nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile testing. However, there has been no senior-level engagement since the meetings held between US President Trump and DPRK leader Kim Jong Un in February and June 2019, and both the level of tension and the security situation on the Korean Peninsula can still change with little notice. Tensions can rise during the regular South Korean-US military exercises, which take place throughout the year. You should follow the advice of local authorities and keep up to date with developments, including via news broadcasts and this travel advice.

Since the end of the Korean War in 1953, the Korean Peninsula has been divided by a demilitarised zone (DMZ) separating the DPRK and the Republic of Korea. Peace has been maintained under an armistice agreement but no formal peace treaty has ever been signed. If you’re in the area of the DMZ, you should exercise caution and follow the advice of the local authorities.

Contingency planning

At times of increased tensions, you should make yourself familiar with local procedures and preparations, including civil emergency exercises and advice (see below). You can also stay up to date with our travel advice for South Korea by subscribing to our email alert service to be notified of future updates, and by following our Twitter and Facebook channels.

As part of your own contingency plans, you should make sure you have easy access to your passport and other important documents such as nationality documents and birth and marriage certificates, as well as any essential medication. You can read our crisis overseas page for further information and advice, including sections on what you can do to prepare effectively, what you should do in the event of a crisis abroad, and how we can help you.

If the situation were to deteriorate, the British Embassy would pass information via this travel advice page and via Embassy Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Civil emergency exercises and advice

The South Korean authorities sometimes hold civil emergency exercises. Sirens are sounded, transport stopped and some people are asked to take shelter indoors, including in designated metro stations or basements. Shelters in Seoul are marked with a special symbol. Participation by foreign nationals in these exercises isn’t obligatory but you should follow any instructions by local authorities during any exercises.

The South Korean government has developed a smartphone application with civil emergency advice, including shelter locations, different types of alarms, medical facilities and emergency services. Search for ‘emergency ready app’ on Android or Apple app stores.

Crime

Crime against foreigners is rare but there are occasional isolated incidents. While most reported crimes are thefts, there have been cases of assaults, including sexual assaults, particularly around bars and nightlife areas. You should remain vigilant and take sensible precautions.

Take extra care of passports, credit cards and money in crowded areas and be careful in areas visited by foreigners, like Itaewon. Take care when travelling alone at night and only use legitimate taxis or public transport.

For emergency assistance, or to report a crime, call 112 for police (a 24 hour interpretation service is available) and 119 for ambulance and fire.

Demonstrations

Public demonstrations in South Korea are common. These gatherings are mostly peaceful and well-policed, but you should take extra care as in any crowded place. You should also be aware that under Korean law, foreign nationals are prohibited from engaging in political activities in South Korea.

Road travel

Under Korean traffic law the maximum blood alcohol content threshold permitted when driving or in charge of a vehicle is 0.03%). This differs to the legal threshold in the UK, which is 0.035%.

All passengers in vehicles must wear seat belts including in rear seats. City buses that are not fitted with seat belts are exempt from this regulation. Government COVID-19 procedures include mandatory wearing of masks in public areas and on all public transport. (As of July 2021 there is a limited exception to this rule – see Entry and borders page.

Drivers are required to take precautionary measures when parking on hills/slopes (such as placing stops behind each wheel, or turning the steering wheel to ensure that the front wheels of the vehicle are angled towards the kerb).

Further information can be found in the Korean Road Traffic Act, though there is currently no official English translation. If you need additional advice, contact the Korean police authority.

You’ll need an International Driving Permit to drive in South Korea. Make sure you have fully comprehensive insurance.

Car and motorbike drivers are presumed to be at fault in accidents involving bicycles or pedestrians. Criminal charges and heavy penalties are common when accidents result in injury, even if guilt is not proved. Watch out for motorcycles travelling at speed on pavements.

Taxi drivers tend to speak little or no English. Although translation services are available, have your destination written in Korean, if possible with a map.

In 2019 there were 3,349 road deaths in the South Korea (source: Department for Transport). This equates to 6.5 road deaths per 100,000 of population and compares to the UK average of 2.6 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2019.

Although there is no recent history of terrorism in South Korea, 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 terrorist attacks, which could be in public areas, including those 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.

A serious violation of local laws may lead to a jail or death sentence.

Penalties for possession, use and trafficking of illegal drugs can result in long jail sentences and heavy fines. This applies even to personal use of small amounts of marijuana. British nationals have been detained solely on the basis of drug tests.

Carry some form of identification at all times and make sure your next-of-kin details have been entered into the back of your passport.

Same-sex relationships are not illegal and LGBT rights organisations are steadily gaining support. The LGBT community is well established and growing in visibility. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

In South Korea, ‘Student Discount’ rates for goods and services apply only to individuals under 19 years of age. Unlike the UK, this discount rate does not usually apply to university students.

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to 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)

Visa

South Korean diplomatic missions in the UK are now issuing most types of long-term visas, including working visas. Visa on arrival for British passport holders remains in place, though you should be aware of the quarantine requirements set out below. You should check visa requirements with the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in London.

Transiting in South Korea

All transit passengers receive a temperature check on arrival in Korea. Symptomatic individuals will be subject to a COVID-19 test and hospitalisation if found positive. Passengers who do not show symptoms and/or test negative may continue their journey. Transit passengers at Seoul Incheon Airport require a ticket/boarding pass for their onward flight to their final destination. They should confirm with the airline(s) before departure that their bags have been checked through to their final destination (as transit passengers are not able to collect and re-check in baggage on arrival in Incheon Airport).

Transit hotels are available in both Terminals 1 and 2 at Incheon Airport.

Testing / screening on arrival

All foreign nationals arriving in South Korea are required to provide a negative PCR test declaration, issued within 72 hours of departure. More details can be found on the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in London website.

All arrivals – regardless of nationality and length of stay – are also required to be tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) after entering South Korea. Arrivals will be taken for testing and must remain at the testing facility until a negative result has been secured.

If you have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you can apply for a ‘quarantine exemption’ which allows you to bypass quarantine when entering South Korea. The process of applying for a quarantine exemption varies depending on where you were vaccinated and the purpose of your travel. (See ‘Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status’)

If you have a Korean government-approved official vaccination certificate showing that you had received two vaccine doses in South Korea more than 14 days before you departed from South Korea, you may be exempted from compulsory quarantine on your return. Arrivals from South Africa and Brazil are not eligible for this exemption.

If you were vaccinated outside of South Korea and are travelling for “humanitarian” purposes (to attend a funeral or to visit family) as of 1 July you can apply for a quarantine exemption via the Korean Embassy in the country where you were vaccinated. Guidance is available from the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in London. Some documents required for your application need to be legalised (aka “apostilled”) by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office before you submit them. Find out how to get a document legalised. If you are travelling for business or academic purposes, you need to obtain special approval from the relevant Korean ministries; if you are travelling for business, your employer can apply through the Business Support Centre (in Korean).

Even if you have a quarantine exemption, on arrival in Korea you will need to submit a negative PCR test issued within 72 hours prior to departure. You will also need to take PCR tests on arrival and on day 6 or 7, and comply with active health monitoring through the Korean government app.

Quarantine is mandatory if you do not have a quarantine exemption. Korean nationals and long-term foreign visitors with an Alien Registration Card and Korean residence may self-quarantine at home for 14 days. All other foreign short-term travellers must quarantine at a government-designated facility for 14 days. Individuals are required to pay a daily charge of 120,000KRW (approximately £81) while in government quarantine facilities.

There is currently no charge for hospital/community centre treatment for British nationals testing positive for COVID-19. It is worth noting that individuals testing positive on arrival may spend over a month in hospital/community treatment centres before testing negative and being discharged.

Any travellers displaying symptoms or returning a positive test result for COVID-19 must comply with self-quarantine and treatment instructions issued by the Korean authorities. Failure to do so could result in imprisonment, deportation, the revocation of visas or residence permits and an entry ban, and the individual may be held liable for economic losses incurred by further transmission of the virus. The Ministry of Justice has made clear that this policy applies to foreign residents as well as short-term visitors.

For more information contact the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on 1339 (support is available in English).

Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status

South Korea will accept the UK’s solutions to demonstrate your COVID vaccination status. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.

Data collection

Individuals from the UK will be tested for COVID-19 on arrival, and will need to participate with an active monitoring system via regular calls with a health expert and a specialised mobile app.

Make sure you have with you a mobile telephone with the roaming function enabled, and/or the telephone number of a friend, relative or contact who can update the authorities daily on your state of health. A hotel telephone number will not be accepted. Immigration authorities will undertake a test call before travellers leave the airport, and any individual unable to verify their contact details may be denied entry to South Korea.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

If you have a British Citizen passport you can enter South Korea as a tourist for up to 90 days without a visa, though you should remain aware of the quarantine requirements. You must also have an onward or return ticket. It’s illegal to work on a tourist visa, whether as a teacher or in any other capacity.

If you have a different type of British nationality, or are travelling for any purpose other than tourism, you should check visa requirements with the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in London.

Long-term visa holders

Foreign nationals residing in South Korea on most types of long-term visa need to apply for a re-entry permit at a local immigration office or at the airport before undertaking any travel out of South Korea. You should engage early with the Immigration Authorities and apply for a re-entry permit in good time ahead of any planned travel.

Long-term visa holders leaving South Korea without a re-entry permit will have their visa and Alien Registration Card cancelled and will need to obtain a new long-term visa before they can re-enter South Korea. There is no longer a requirement for re-entry permit holders to obtain a medical certificate before returning to South Korea, but all travellers require a negative COVID test certificate as detailed above.

Exceptions to the re-entry permit requirement include holders of A-1, A-2, A-3 and F-4 visas, or those issued with an Isolation Exemption Certificate by a Korean Embassy or consulate overseas. The issue of Isolation Exemption Certificates has also been temporarily suspended by the South Korean Embassy in London.

For further information, call the Korean Immigration Contact Centre (Tel: 1345) or see the official announcement here.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 3 months from the date of entry into South Korea.

All foreigners living in South Korea are required to report any changes in their passport information (such as when receiving a new passport) either online using the Korean Immigration Office website or by visiting a local immigration office in South Korea. For further information, call the Korean Immigration Contact Centre (Tel: +82 1345).

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from South Korea.

Customs declarations

Check the website of the Korea Customs Service for information on restricted or prohibited items that may not be brought into the country. If you are in any doubt about the legality of any items - including medications - you should declare them on entry.

South Korean customs authorities allow you to bring small amounts of medication for your personal use, provided that it is kept in carry-on baggage. It is advised to take an English language prescription from your doctor at home for both your prescription drugs and non-prescription medicines. It is also a good idea to consult the website of the South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety before you travel to South Korea.

British males of Korean origin

If you are a British male of Korean origin whose name appears on the Korean family register, you may be liable for military service even if you are travelling on your British passport.

Employment

To get a visa to teach English in South Korea, you must have a 3-year university degree. A TEFL qualification alone is not sufficient. If you are found to have obtained a teaching visa by deception, you will be detained and deported.

British nationals teaching English in South Korea have sometimes found living and working conditions to be below expectations, and have encountered difficulties getting the correct visas and residence permits. There have also been complaints of breach of contract, confiscation of passports, payment being withheld and inadequate or no medical insurance. Check all terms and conditions of your employment carefully and if possible speak to other teachers from the place where you plan to work before accepting any offer.

For those in possession of a work visa, all employment changes must be authorised by Korean Immigration.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for South Korea 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 South Korea.

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-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 is 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.

South Korean customs authorities allow you to bring small amounts of medication for your personal use, provided that it is kept in carry-on baggage. It is advised to take an English language prescription from your doctor at home for both your prescription drugs and non-prescription medicines. It is also a good idea to consult the website of the South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety before you travel to South Korea.

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).

Medical treatment

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.

Medical and dental care in South Korea is usually of a good standard but can be expensive. Staff may not speak English. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

Health risks

In spring there’s a risk of tick-borne disease across Korea. The national Disease Control and Prevention Centre advise all people taking part in leisure activities on grass to wear long sleeved shirts/tops and trousers.

Air pollution, including yellow dust pollution, is common in South Korea throughout the year and especially during spring months. When the concentration levels of dust particles are high, residents and visitors are advised to stay indoors as much as possible, close windows and drink plenty of water. This is particularly important for the elderly and those with respiratory problems. Follow local media reporting and the Korean Meteorological Service website for the latest advice.

Typhoons

The typhoon season normally runs from June to November. You should monitor the progress of approaching storms on the Korean Meteorological Administration website and follow any advice given by the local authorities or you can call 131 in Korea to get an accurate weather forecast in English.   

See our tropical cyclones page for advice about what to do if you are caught up in a typhoon.

The local currency is the South Korean Won. It is almost impossible to change Scottish or Northern Irish bank notes. Credit cards are not always accepted outside major cities. ATMs are widely available, but do not always accept foreign cards. Those with a sign saying ‘Global’ will normally accept foreign cards.

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 Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (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.