Coronavirus: Government warns against visiting 30 countries

16 March 2020, 12:11

Travel advisories have been issued for 35 countries
Travel advisories have been issued for 35 countries. Picture: PA

With cases of coronavirus declared in 144 countries, territories or areas across the globe and the World Health Organisation declaring Covid-19 a pandemic British officials have issued travel guidance.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has issued travel advice warnings against visiting certain countries due to coronavirus restrictions or the risk of quarantine.

In the USA New York's mayor has ordered restaurants, bars and cafes to only sell food on a take-away or delivery basis, to help tackle the spread of coronavirus.

Read more: Follow Monday's news live in our Covid-19 blog

There are similar restrictions in force in Los Angeles, with gyms also shut until at least the end of next month.

In Ireland, all pubs and bars have closed for two weeks in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The closures come a day before celebrations for St Patrick's Day - which is one of the busiest days of the year for these establishments.

Two people have died in the country after contracting Covid-19.

Read more: How long does Covid-19 live on surfaces? Is post from China safe?

Read more: Coronavirus symptoms - What are they and what is the risk of Covid-19 in the UK?

The official British Government guidance as of Monday morning advises against all but essential travel to 35 countries.

- China

The FCO advises against all travel to Hubei province due to the outbreak, and against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China. If you are in China and able to leave, the FCO says you should do so.

- United States

On March 14, the US government extended an existing European travel ban to the UK and Ireland, with the exception of returning US citizens and legal residents.

The FCO subsequently updated its advice on March 15 and advises against all but essential travel to the whole country.

The update was a way for the British government to officially inform its citizens about the extension of the ban and advise that they should not travel.

- Italy

The FCO advises against all but essential travel to all of Italy, including Sicily and Sardinia. Authorities in Italy have advised against travel for tourism purposes and said tourists already on holiday in Italy should limit their movements to those necessary to return to the place where they live.

- Spain

The FCO updated its advice on Spain in the early hours of March 15, advising against all but essential travel to the whole country.

Previously, the Spanish ministry of health declared the areas of Madrid and La Rioja, and the municipalities of La Bastida and Vitoria, and Miranda de Ebro, as places where there is community transmission of coronavirus and the FCO advised against all but essential travel to those regions.

- Denmark

British nationals are advised against all but essential travel to the whole country, after Danish authorities announced they would be closing the borders for a month in response to the pandemic.

Foreign nationals who "do not have a recognised purpose for entering Denmark" will be barred from entry.

- Norway

The department advises against all but essential travel to Norway, after the Norwegian authorities said that all non-resident visitors arriving from countries other than Finland and Sweden would be asked to leave Norway on arrival.

British nationals legally resident in Norway will be allowed to enter the country but must enter self-quarantine for 14 days.

- Indonesia

The FCO advises against all travel to two parts of the country close to Mount Agung and Mount Sinabung craters due to ongoing volcanic activity.

The department advises against all but essential travel to the rest of the country due to a 14-day quarantine requirement.

- Poland

The FCO advises against all but essential travel to the country, owing to restrictions being put in place following the outbreak, which has seen borders closed and border controls introduced.

Non-Polish nationals will only be able to enter the country if they are a spouse or child of a Polish national, hold a Pole's Card, or otherwise have the right to stay or work in the country.

British nationals aged 70 and over and those with pre-existing health conditions are advised against cruise ship travel.

- South Africa

The FCO advises against all but essential travel to South Africa following restrictions announced limiting who can enter the country.

Authorities said travellers from high-risk countries, including the UK and US, would not be permitted to enter the country from March 18.

Visitors from high-risk countries, including the UK, who have entered the country since mid-February will be required to present themselves for testing.

Read more: Coronavirus: Beard sanitiser sales spike after NHS urged staff to shave

The FCO also advises against all but essential travel to Argentina, Albania, Burma, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Kosovo, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Malawi, Malta, Morocco, Mongolia, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, San Marino, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.

The department cites partial or complete border closures due to Covid-19 as the reason for the warnings for Albania, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, San Marino, Slovakia, and Sri Lanka.

Potential issues with flights due to restrictions and cancellations are referenced in the advice for Argentina, Morocco, Mongolia, Paraguay, Peru and Philippines.

Read more: Coronavirus UK: Do surgical face masks work to avoid virus symptoms?

The risk of being placed into quarantine is given as the reason for the advice for Burma, Estonia, Indonesia, Liberia, Malawi, Malta, Sierra Leone and Vietnam.

Travellers are advised against all but essential travel to parts of Portugal and South Korea.

The FCO advises against all but essential travel to the Portuguese archipelagos of Madeira and the Azores and the South Korean cities of Daegu, Cheongdo and Gyeongsan which have been designated "special care zones" by authorities due to outbreaks.

The FCO has not currently advised British nationals not to travel to France, which has reported more than 4,000 cases to the WHO.

Restaurants, schools, universities, cafes, theatres and non-essential shops, have been closed, gatherings of more than 100 people have been banned and tourist attractions have been shuttered.

In New Zealand, arrivals from countries other than China and Iran will have to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival, the department said. Foreign nationals arriving from China or Iran will not be allowed to enter the country.

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