Coronavirus: How will Covid-19 affect your travel and holiday plans?

15 March 2020, 16:25

A passenger arriving from Brussels wearing a mask to protect herself from the new coronavirus
A passenger arriving from Brussels wearing a mask to protect herself from the new coronavirus. Picture: Getty

Coronavirus has spread globally and now popular holiday destinations such as Italy and Spain are in lockdown - so how will the virus affect your travel plans?

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has affected thousands of people across the world as the World Health Organisation has reported cases in 135 countries, territories or areas.

As a result of Covid-19, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has issued travel advice warning people against visiting certain countries or areas.

Here is a look at the current guidance, which advises against all but essential travel.


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.


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.


France has taken several steps to delay the spread of Covid-19 including the closure of restaurants, schools, universities, cafes, theatres and non-essential shops, the FCO said. Gatherings of more than 100 people have been banned and tourist attractions have been shuttered.

The FCO has not currently advised British nationals not to travel to France.


The FCO advises against all but essential travel to the archipelagos of Madeira and the Azores.

Cruise ships

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

It comes Chile has quarantined 1,300 cruise passengers after a British national, 83, has caught the virus.

The man is reportedly in a "good condition" in Coyhaique, Patagonia.

Chilean authorities said the passengers were on board the Silver Explorer.


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.

As a result, the FCO updated its advice on March 15 and advises against all but essential travel to the whole country.

It comes as president Donald Trump has just tested negative for the virus. People were concerned for his health after meeting with Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and a staff member who tested positive.

For all the latest updates on coronavirus both here in the UK and around the world, follow our live blog

Passengers wear face masks as they arrive with their luggage at Terminal 4 of London Heathrow Airport in west London
Passengers wear face masks as they arrive with their luggage at Terminal 4 of London Heathrow Airport in west London. Picture: Getty


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.


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.

Sri Lanka

The FCO advises against all but essential travel to the country after the Sri Lankan government decided that people arriving from the UK or having travelled through the UK will not be allowed to enter after March 16.

Czech Republic

British authorities advise against all but essential travel to the Czech Republic due to a 30-day state of emergency declared on March 12. Prague airport is the sole airport carrying international flights, however many of them are being cancelled.

Czech authorities have said anyone who enters the country from the UK or other "at risk" countries will be required to self-isolate.


The FCO advises against all but essential travel to the country due to restrictions on entry. Only Jamaican citizens, spouses and children of Jamaican citizens and foreign residents travelling from the UK will be allowed to enter.

The FCO said: "British nationals who wish to leave Jamaica are encouraged to make travel arrangements urgently before airlines reduce direct and indirect flight options."


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.

South Korea

The department advises against all travel to the cities of Daegu, Cheongdo and Gyeongsan which have been designated "special care zones" by South Korean authorities due to outbreaks.

From Sunday, travellers arriving from the UK will be subject to additional screening. People travelling from the UK will also be asked to report their condition to the authorities for 14 days.


Although the FCO has not advised against travel, the department said the government of India previously announced it will suspend all existing visas due to the virus outbreak.

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 as part of strict new controls.


British nationals will not be granted permission to enter Singapore if they have travelled to mainland China, Iran, northern Italy or South Korea within the last 14 days, the FCO said.

All travellers entering the country with a recent travel history to countries including the UK will now be given a 14-day stay-at-home order and may be tested on arrival.

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