The FCO has issued advice on how Britons stuck abroad can get home

The UK government is urging Britons to return home if they are still overseas. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced on Monday: "The time to come home is now while you still can." However, as countries across the world begin to lock their borders and travel services rapidly become suspended, many Britons abroad may be fearful of becoming stranded.

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In a bid to help the nation the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has provided crucial information to help people make their way home in this time of crisis.

The FCO website has issued an urgent warning, saying: "As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel.

"Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.

"If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available. Many airlines are suspending flights and many airports are closing, preventing flights from leaving."

The government has assured it will help Britons get home, but urges them to make their own steps while they can to ensure they are returned to the UK safely.


Rory Boland, Editor of Which? Travel, said: “The government’s promise that a huge repatriation effort is underway will be good news to many UK residents stuck in increasingly difficult situations abroad who have struggled to get any practical advice or help from the foreign office.

“The problem has been growing for weeks so the government must urgently improve its communications regarding travel advice and make sure it leaves no stone unturned to get these people on flights home.”

Britons in any of the following holiday hotspots should follow the government advice for that region and make immediate plans to return home if that is their intention.

READ MORE: Holidays: Britons continue to book holidays despite lockdown

how to get home amid coronavirus pandemicCoronavirus: The FCO issues an update on how to get back to the UK (Image: Getty Images)

British traveller return homeCoronavirus: Britons are being urged to return home (Image: Getty Images)


British travellers who are currently in Spain and who wish to return to the UK are advised to make travel plans to do so as soon as possible.

The FCO website explains: "At present, air and maritime borders remain open, but many airlines and ferry companies are operating revised or reduced services.

"Travel to airports to leave Spain is still permitted, but travellers may be asked to provide evidence that they are departing Spain (i.e. plane ticket)."

Travellers can exit Spain via the French border, which will remain open for those heading home. British nationals can still drive through France to return to the UK but will have to carry an "attestation" or declaration explaining why they are outside.


Britons currently in France are subject to new measures brought in my the government on March 16.

The FCO website explains: "This includes confining people to their homes except for outings for specific purposes effective from midday 17 March 2020 for an initial period of 15 days.

"If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return to the UK now."

It continues: "The availability of transport from France to the UK is subject to change. Many airlines and cross-Channel operators are operating very substantially reduced services for passenger traffic. Passengers should check with their operator before departing, and may still be subject to severe disruption.

"Flights departing from French airports may be cancelled or rescheduled. You should check with your airline for the latest information."

Britons can still drive home and connect via ferry but may be required to carry an "attestation" or declaration explaining why they are outside.

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"British nationals in Germany who wish to leave should contact their travel operator to make arrangements to do so as soon as possible," says the FCO website.

"There are now only limited commercial means of leaving Germany to return to the UK by air, from just a few major airports in Germany."

However, these restrictions could further tighten with little notice.


As is one of the worst affected countries in the world, the majority of carriers have now ceased direct flights between and the UK.

Alitalia continues to operate flights but on a reduced schedule.

"Other airlines have indicated that they will assist British tourists in who have booked travel with them to return to the UK, which may require travel via other countries. Contact your airline as soon as possible," urges the FCO.

Many surrounding countries have imposed restrictions on people entering from , which may mean travelling home via land is not an option.


Flights are still running to the UK from Portugal, however, airlines have cancelled a number of tours.

The FCO advises: " If your travel plans are likely to be affected or you want to check on the status of your flight, contact your airline or travel company for the latest information.

"British Nationals who wish to leave the country should make arrangements to do so as soon as possible as transport options to leave Portugal may not be available indefinitely."

coronavirus dominic raabCoronavirus: Dominic Raab spoke in parliament about the FCO update (Image: Getty Images)

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"The situation is changing rapidly," says the FCO.

"We recommend that UK nationals who wish to leave check the latest travel advice and the most recent updates from their travel operator before travelling."

Those wishing to travel home by land through Belgium or France may be subject to each country's individual lockdown laws.


Britons currently in Poland are advised to make travel plans to get home immediately.

All air transport in Poland has been suspended until midnight on 11 April and may be further extended. Almost all flights to the UK have therefore been suspended until this date. However, there is a lifeline

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