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Ruins, old town, Panama City
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Ruins, old town, Panama City

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Panama Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

75,517 sq km (29,157 sq miles).

Population

3,990,406 (UN estimate 2016).

Population density

48.4 per sq km.

Capital

Panama City.

Government

Republic.

Head of state

President Laurentino Cortizo since 2019.

Head of government

President Laurentino Cortizo since 2019.

Electricity

110 volts AC, 60Hz (in Panama City 120 volts). North American-style plugs with two flat pins (with or without third grounding pin) are standard.

Think Panama and what springs to mind? The canal? Cigars? Straw hats? Probably all three. However, for those in the know, this slender Central American nation is much more than that; it is a land of wildlife-rich rainforests and remote indigenous communities; Miami-esque promenades and paradisiacal beaches; verdant volcanoes and the impenetrable wilderness of the Darien Gap.

Firstly, the canal. Though considered to be the star attraction (thousands flock here to watch container ships passing through the locks) the wild landscapes it scythes through are an altogether more exciting prospect. Here you can hike volcanoes, zip-wire over forest canopies, raft down rapids and meet one of the country’s largest indigenous groups, the Kunas, who eke out simple, traditional lives on the sumptuous San Blas Islands.

The Caribbean coastline features another facet of Panamanian culture. Jamaicans and Barbadians, drafted in to build the canal, ended up settling here and an Afro-Caribbean vibe endures to this day. The nearby Bocas del Toro islands, meanwhile, are the definition of Caribbean island ideal with their palm-fringed beaches, limpid lagoons and sleepy eco-lodges.

The wildlife is also spectacular. Whale watching in the Golfo de Chiriquí is a must and you never forget scuba diving or snorkeling alongside turtles in the Coiba National Marine Park. Its birdlife surpasses neighbouring Costa Rica and the most treasured sightings are the iconic harpy eagle, Panama’s national bird, and the endangered great green macaw.

With so much natural beauty to imbibe, it is easy to overlook the bustling capital, Panama City. But don’t. A metropolis divided starkly between the past and present, it is a city where crumbling colonial buildings stand in the shadows of high-rise steel and glass towers. It feels a little bit like Miami and the locals certainly give their US counterparts a run for their money in the hedonism stakes. Come join the party.

Travel Advice

Coronavirus travel health

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

Entry and borders

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

Returning to the UK

Travelling from and returning to the UK

Check what you must do to travel abroad and return to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting. If you will pass through a red list country, book your hotel quarantine package before travelling to the UK.

You are responsible for organising your own COVID-19 test, in line with UK government testing requirements.

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.

Both adult and children travellers must present a negative COVID-19 PCR or Antigen test before boarding a flight to Panama.

If you test positive for COVID-19 while in Panama, you will be expected to self-isolate at a government approved quarantine facility until you test negative. The local authorities will follow up with you to ensure you are carrying out the mandatory quarantine.

The local health authorities have made it clear that travellers will have to cover the expenses associated with quarantining at a government approved quarantine facility.

Minors travelling alone will be expected to comply with the COVID-19 guidelines/restrictions within the country, including the mandatory quarantine.

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

Travel in Panama

Panama is currently under a state of emergency.

Measures in place to combat the spread of COVID-19 vary by province. Sanitary cordons may be imposed at short notice to restrict travel between provinces.

Domestic flights are operating.

Nationwide measures

Since September 27, access to beaches is permitted at all times.
Many venues – such as restaurants, bars, museums and other social events - have reduced capacity, although the consumption of alcohol is now permitted. Restrictions may be amended based on vaccination status. Respect the limits posted on signs at venues.

Some sporting events may require you to complete a QR code for “Safe Mobility” before entering the event. You must adhere to biosafety measures including the use of facemasks and maintaining the designated distance between individual groups or each person.

Panama will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record. If you are travelling with a printed PDF proof of vaccination status, it must date from 1 November to ensure that the certificate can be scanned successfully, if domestic certification is required. 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.

Sanitary Cordons and Checkpoints

Sanitary cordons and checkpoints can be introduced with little or no notice. You may be randomly tested for COVID-19 if you are stopped.

Provincial COVID-19 Restrictions

Each province operates different regulations, including curfew measures. Make sure you check the local guidance from Panamanian authorities in your area. See the Ministry of Tourism website (in Spanish), Ministry of Health Twitter page (in Spanish) and Visit Panama website (in English)

Travel to and from the airport

Airports, ports and borders remain open; proof of good health will be required at these entry points.

Public spaces and services

Face masks

The wearing of masks outside of your accommodation is compulsory nationwide.

Transport

Rideshare apps such as “Uber” have resumed services in Panama. Yellow taxis are available too.

The police and security forces are empowered to enforce restrictions on movements and events due to the current state of emergency. You must follow their instructions.

The wearing of masks and face shields/visors is mandatory on all public transport.

Healthcare in Panama

If you are concerned that you may be unwell as a result of coronavirus, you should call the national hotline on 169, or use the Panamanian Government’s “R.O.S.A” (virtual clinic) to send a WhatsApp message, and follow their advice.

You can access the Panamanian public healthcare system on the same terms as Panamanians. Coronavirus tests in the public system, for those who meet the clinical requirement to be tested, will be free of charge.

From 6 March 2021, Panamanian authorities granted access to routine medical care and elective surgeries, provided medical facilities comply with the protocol established by the Panamanian Ministry of Health.

You should verify service availability with medical facilities, as most public and private centres do not accept walk-ins and require you to book an appointment prior to arrival.

For contact details for English speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers.

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 Panama.

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

COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Panama

Wherever possible British nationals should aim to be vaccinated in the country where they live. We will update this page when the Government of Panama announces new information on the national vaccination programme. You can sign up to get email notifications when this page is updated.

Panama’s national vaccination programme started in January 2021 and is using the Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines. British nationals resident in Panama are eligible for vaccination. The Panamanian authorities have created a portal to register for inclusion in the national vaccination programme. This is available for all Panamanian residents over the age of 16, including British nationals.

Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad.

If you’re a British national living in Panama, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider. Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status, should be available from local authorities.

Finance

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

Further information

You should monitor the press and official announcements of the Panamanian government to ensure you are up-to-date with any changes to these restrictions.

The Panamanian Tourism Authority (ATP) has created the following helpline to provide assistance: +507 6330 2520 or via email to contact@atp.gob.pa.

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

Crime

If you are a victim of crime in Panama and wish to report it to the local authorities, do so before leaving the country, otherwise your case may not be investigated.

Personal attacks, including sexual assault, have been reported in tourist destinations across Panama. You should maintain at least the same level of personal security awareness as in the UK.

Violent crime, including gun crime, rarely involves foreign tourists. Take care when travelling in unfamiliar areas and avoid walking through less travelled areas at night alone. As with most major cities, street crime can happen anywhere, however the areas of San Miguelito, El Chorillo and Juan Diaz are known to have greater levels of crime compared to other areas. Most of these crimes are between members of rival drug gangs.

There have been reports of targeted gang assassinations throughout the city, including in areas frequented by travellers. Take sensible precautions and remain vigilant to protect yourself and your belongings against the risk of street crime.

There have been incidents of crime/violence on the road. If you are involved in a traffic accident with another driver, move the vehicle out of the way of ongoing traffic. Wait for your insurance representative to arrive and the transit police inside your vehicle. See Road travel.

Don’t carry large sums of cash or valuables in public. Use a hotel safe wherever possible. Where possible use an ATM within a bank and always protect your PIN. Be vigilant when using ATMs installed in public places, as people have been attacked after withdrawing cash.

Beware of pickpockets in busy areas, on buses and at bus stations. Watch out for muggers, particularly in main shopping areas and tourist sites, including Albrook Mall, Via España and Avenida Central, the area of Calidonia, the old town (Casco Viejo) in Panama City, the old Panama ruins (Panama Viejo), the Madden Dam area - off the main Panama to Colon road and the city of Colon.

The area near the border with Colombia is particularly dangerous (east of a line drawn from Punta Carreto in the Comarca de San Blas on the Atlantic coast, to Yaviza in the eastern Darien province, down to Punta Piña on the Pacific coast). Political and criminal violence in Colombia can spill over into Panama. In 2016, the government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) signed a peace agreement; however, the threat of incursions by Colombian guerrillas and other armed groups remains. Foreign nationals and Panamanian citizens have been the victims of violent crimes, kidnapping and murder in this area.  

Use registered taxi companies. Picking up multiple travellers in Panama is common practice, but you should insist that taxi drivers do not do this.   

Be cautious if you are approached by visitors seeking access to your property. Criminal gangs have used this method to enter and then commit burglaries. If you are in any doubt call the police. 

Local travel

Only travel to the Darien province with an organised group to destinations under the surveillance of the Panamanian police. Don’t stray from your group.

If you’re hiking in the hills of the town of Boquete in the Province of Chiriqui, do so with an experienced guide. Don’t go hiking without taking the necessary precautions.

Road travel

Driving standards are poor. Panama has a reasonably good road system, however, roads are poorly lit. Recent 2019/2020 data shows that most collision accidents happen on weekends with an increased amount occurring at night. Darien Province and other remote rural areas may have very few surfaced roads, so prepare accordingly for travel. Watch out for pot-holes and unfinished repairs.

Traffic is very heavy in Panama City and other populated areas such as Pacora, Chorrera and Capira. Take precautions while travelling, especially around peak hours, given that repair work and construction sites are common in these areas.
Drunk driving is illegal in Panama. If caught driving with your blood alcohol level higher than 0.0% you will face a fine, risk your license being revoked and your car being impounded.

By law, seat belts must be worn by drivers and front seat passengers. Children under five must travel in the back in fitted child seats. If you are involved in an accident, remain in the vehicle until transit police and the insurance representative arrive at the scene, and follow their instructions.

Public transport is available in Panama City via the citywide Metro Bus and Panama Metro Rail network. Other forms of transportation include yellow taxis, ride-share platforms and inter-city buses. Facemasks are mandatory on all types of public transportation.

Use registered taxi companies. Picking up multiple travellers in Panama is common practice, but you should insist that taxi drivers do not do this.

Taxis are generally in poor condition and are responsible for a significant proportion of accidents due to poor maintenance and driving standards.

To drive in Panama, you’ll need a valid photo-card UK driving licence. The Panamanian authorities will not accept paper licences. Foreign driving licences are only valid for 90 days following your entry to the country (make sure you carry a copy of your passport with the date stamp as proof of entry within the allowable period).

In order to obtain a local licence, you should bring, from the UK, a legalised certificate of entitlement issued by the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and once in Panama, contact the issuing agency SERTRACEN for further information on the requirements needed.

Travellers with limited mobility

Many places in Panama are not wheelchair accessible often due to limited or uneven paving, lack of lifts and ramps. This includes all types of public transportation.

Swimming and water sports

Take great care when wading, swimming or taking part in water sports on Pacific and Caribbean beaches as in some places there are strong currents and undertows. Beaches seldom have signs warning of the dangers and there are a number of drownings every year.

Don’t bathe in the Bay of Panama; it is highly polluted with untreated sewage and industrial waste.

Political situation

Political demonstrations occur occasionally in Panama City, mainly around Parliament, the University of Panama and other public institutions. Monitor local media on developments and follow advice from local authorities. Avoid protest and demonstrations; some have turned violent resulting in injured participants.

Don’t become involved with drugs of any kind. Possession of even small quantities can lead to imprisonment.

The judicial process is slow and sentencing may take up to two years. If you are found guilty of possession of controlled or illegal substances, you could receive a long prison sentence or heavy fine.

Detention facilities

Conditions in prisons and other detention facilities in Panama are harsh. Most facilities are overpopulated with limited access to healthcare. There have been recent cases of riots ending in massacres.

Smoking

Smoking in public places is prohibited. In January 2008, Panama introduced legislation to reduce the use of tobacco and tobacco derived products. Those caught smoking in non-designated areas face a fine of $25-$100 dollars.

LGBT

Same-sex relationships are legal in Panama and most Panamanians are generally tolerant to LGBT travellers. However, Panamanian law does not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. There have been incidents of police officers detaining LGBT couples on the grounds of public indecency.

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Panama, 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.

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.

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Panama set and enforce entry rules. For further information 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.

Furthermore, you should consider clarifying whether there are any testing requirements or measures put in place by your airline or countries you are transiting that may affect your travel.

Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

International flights have resumed to and from Tocumen International Airport.

An electronic affidavit of good health for all travellers entering the country needs to be completed upon arrival. The affidavit form is available on the Panama digital website. The completed affidavit will generate a QR code, which will be scanned on arrival at Tocumen Airport.

Panama encourages the use of the IATA Travel Pass app. This app will have up-to-date information on travel restrictions, authorised labs for COVID-19 tests and vaccine information. It will have the option to enter personal data, such as vaccination information and tests undertaken. The government will accept the “OK to Travel” certification from this app as a validation for COVID-19 tests on travellers.

Entry restrictions to Panama

Since 30 August, all travellers arriving from low-risk or high-risk countries are not required to take a COVID-19 test and quarantine upon arrival if you have done the following:

  • registered digitally
  • physically present your vaccination card with two doses, with the last dose being at least 14 days old

The vaccines approved in Panama are those approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

If you travel from a country classified as a low epidemiological risk and you do not have a complete vaccination schedule:

  • you will be required to present a negative PCR or antigen test, taken 72 hours before arrival. This will exempt you from the 72-hour preventive quarantine

If you travel from a country classified as a high epidemiological risk and you do not have a complete vaccination schedule, you will have to do the following:

  • present a negative PCR or Antigen test taken 72 hours before arrival or have a test carried out at the airport at your own cost; and
  • complete 72 hours of quarantine at home or at an approved hotel at your own expense. At the end of the quarantine, you must undergo either a PCR or antigen test, with a negative result bringing an end to your quarantine

Countries considered to have a high epidemiological risk include: USA, Cuba, Guatemala, Costa Rica, French Guyana, UK, Greece, Georgia, Estonia, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Azerbaijan, Israel, Malaysia, Mongolia, South Africa, Guinea Bissau, Tunisia and Fiji.

From 2 December 2021 Panama has temporarily banned travellers who have stayed in or transited South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Malawi during the last 14 days, due to the Omicron variant.

The restriction does not apply to Panamanian citizens or residents who, if they have a complete vaccination scheme, must present a negative result of a COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival in Panama. They must take another COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival.

Children under 12 years of age are exempt from any type of testing and quarantine if their parents, care givers or guardians comply with the requirements according to the level of epidemiological risk of the country of origin.

The official list of pre-approved quarantine hotel facilities can be found on the Visit Panama website.

When quarantining at a hotel, you will not be allowed to leave your room until the 72 hours are complete.

The local authorities have prohibited take away deliveries for travellers required to quarantine at a hotel.

Travellers that have completed the 72 hours quarantine will be required to undergo another COVID-19 Antigen test at a government-approved laboratory.

Demonstrating your COVID-19 status

Panama will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record and proof of COVID-19 vaccination issued in the Crown Dependencies. Your final vaccine dose must have been administered within 14 days prior to travel.

If you are travelling with a printed PDF proof of vaccination status, it must date from 1 November 2021 to ensure that the certificate can be scanned successfully. 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.

Transiting Panama

It is possible to transit via Panama. Travellers must be aware of the requirements for their country of final destination and not attempt to leave the airport.

Unless you meet entry requirements, you will not be allowed to leave the airport during your transit.

You should check the requirements for your country of final destination as requirements may vary.

Data collection

You will be required to give address details of your accommodation and a contact telephone number. You will also be required to download a tracing application to your smartphone.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

British nationals don’t need a visa to visit Panama except if arriving by sea. You must have a return or onward ticket and the equivalent of USD 500 or a credit card.

If you enter Panama by land from Costa Rica, and are not a legal resident of Costa Rica, the immigration authorities may ask you to show proof of onward or return travel to your country of legal residence.

You may be detained by immigration officials if you attempt to renew your tourist visa by visiting a neighbouring country, including Costa Rica. You must follow the relevant rules and procedures when seeking to extend a visa. The British Embassy can’t intervene in decisions made by the immigration authorities. For more information visit the Panama National Migration Service website.

From 1 October 2021, British nationals entering Panama now have a 90 day (3 month) tourist visa stamped in their passport to mark entry to Panama. Extensions are not normally allowed unless you apply to change your immigration status within the 90 days (for business purposes, marriage, etc). For further information on entry requirements, check with the Embassy of the Republic of Panama in London.

When transiting the Panama Canal, if you disembark the ship, your passport will be stamped by the immigration authorities. You do not need a visa unless you are staying in Panama for more than 90 days. Immigration officials do not board transiting cruise ships to check passports.

If you arrive in Panama by sea, except via a cruise line, you will need a visa. There is a fee of USD 100 plus USD 5 registration per person for passengers and crew members of vessels. Other fees may be charged, for example for cruising permits. Make sure immigration officials properly stamp your passport with the date of entry into the country. Check with the Embassy of Panama in London for further details.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of exit from Panama. Your passport must also have several unused pages.

Airport tax

A USD 40 airport tax is charged on departure. This is usually included in the airline ticket fare. Check with your carrier.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

Permanent Residency Law

The Government of Panama has created a subcategory of permanent residency for foreign nationals of 22 countries with which Panama has especially friendly relations, including the UK. The decree allows British nationals to apply for a permanent residency permit to undertake commercial or professional activities (subject to certain limitations). For more information contact the  Panama National Migration Service on (507) 507-1800 or contact a local solicitor prior to your arrival in Panama as a number of the documents required must be legalised (issued with an apostille), which can only be done by the Legalisation Office in the UK.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Panama. Your ETD must be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Panama.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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

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.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate
of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

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

Panama City has some good private hospitals and clinics, but medical facilities outside the capital are limited. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

Health risks

Malaria and dengue fever are common throughout the year in parts of Panama, including some outlying areas of Panama City.

UK health authorities have classified Panama as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

Cases of Chikungunya virus have been confirmed in Panama and the number of reported cases in the region is increasing. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

UNAIDS figures estimate that around 21,000 adults aged 15 or over in Panama were living with HIV in 2016. The prevalence percentage was estimated at around 0.8% of the adult population. You should exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 911 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Earthquakes

There is a possibility of earthquakes in Panama. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency website has advice about what to do before, during and after an earthquake or tsunami.

Hurricane/Rainy Season

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June to November; although Panama is not directly impacted by hurricanes, this season frequently coincides with heavy rains, which may cause flash floods and landslides. October and November normally have the heaviest months of rainfall. Monitor local and international weather forecasts and follow local advice.

The currency of Panama is the balboa; however, the American dollar is equivalent in value and of common distribution.

Make sure you have enough money for your stay and return journey. Opening a bank account and requesting international transfers is difficult and may take several days. Make arrangements with your financial institution before you travel. Bank transfers are difficult, expensive and can take several days. Money transfer services like Western Union or Money Gram may offer a quicker service. Foreign cheques can’t be cashed in Panama. Travellers’ cheques are difficult to exchange and rates of commission are very high.

Some major banks offer currency exchange services and there are a number of exchange bureaus in the main shopping area around Via España and Via Argentina. Currency exchange services are also offered within Tocumen International Airport.

ATMs are widely available in the main districts and commercial areas across the country; these machines issue US dollars. Credit and debit cards are also widely used for payment. Most major credit cards are accepted throughout the country.

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.