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Travel Advice for Coronavirus COVID-19 (Update 8)

21 Feb 2020

The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports the outbreak of COVID-19 continues in China and other countries.  By 20 February 2020, 75 748 cases (including 2 129 deaths) were reported, with 74 675 (99%) of these in China. Within China, 62 031 (83%) cases were reported from Hubei Province, where the outbreak began.

Many of the cases reported in other countries were infected in China or are identified contacts of such cases. Public health authorities are investigating those cases with no known link to China. In general, the number of cases outside China is small compared to the size of the populations of the countries affected.

While WHO has reported that most people who have COVID-19 will experience a mild illness, elderly people and those with existing health problems are at greater risk of severe illness.

Advice to All Travellers

Prior to travel, the following should be checked:

  • The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) site provides guidance for UK nationals travelling overseas, including how to seek consular assistance if required.
  • Travel agents or airlines should be contacted for latest information on local travel restrictions and local authority guidance relating to COVID-19.
  • Travel insurance is essential: the COVID-19 outbreak may impact your travel insurance coverage, ensure you carefullly check your travel insurance policy before travel.

The FCO countries or territories pages should be checked prior to travel for the latest advice, including:

  • Travel advisories and restrictions; it must be noted that these are subject to change and should be checked regularly. The FCO currently advise against all travel to Hubei Province and all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao).
  • Entry requirements for the destination; a number of countries have announced restrictions on entry by travellers from China in response to the outbreak
  • Reports of COVID-19 at the destination; travellers to countries reporting cases of COVID-19 should follow local public health advice.

Information on COVID-19, including prevention advice, is available here.

Travellers to mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan or Thailand 
should be aware if they develop symptoms on return to the UK, that are compatible with COVID-19, they should self-isolate and contact one of the following:

  • NHS 111 (England and Wales)
  • 0300 200 7885 (Northern Ireland)
  • NHS24 (Call 111) or their General Practitioner (Scotland)