Latest FCO advice via ABTA

As ABTA members we are updated daily with any changes regarding travel around the world.  Here is today’s operational update regarding incidents in Thailand

The ABTA Destination Services team continue to monitor the situation in Thailand following the security incidents that have occurred in various areas of Thailand.

FCO Travel Advice The FCO has updated the travel advice for Thailand with amendments to the summary section – there’s an increased security presence in cities, tourist areas and transport hubs following explosions and incidents on 11 and 12 August 2016; airports are currently operating as normal; there are restrictions and checks on local travel, including on the road between Bangkok and Hua Hin; you should exercise caution, especially in public places, and follow the advice of the local authorities; if you’re currently in Thailand, contact family and friends to let them know you’re safe

The FCO and the British Embassy are in close contact with local authorities.  On 12 August 2016 there were explosions causing casualties in Patong in Phuket, and in Surat Thani. There were further explosions in Loma in Phuket, Khao Lak in Phang Nga, and in Hua Hin. Fires were reported in Phang Nga, Krabi and Nakhon Sri Thammarat, which could be linked to the series of explosions. On 11 August 2016 there were explosions in Hua Hin and Trang; both caused casualties, including 2 deaths. The overall level of advice for Thailand has not changed and there are travel restrictions in place: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to the provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla on the Thai-Malaysia border. See Terrorism The full travel advice for Thailand can be accessed here.

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PREVIOUS NEWS UPDATES:

1 August 2016

Netherlands: FCO Travel advice update The FCO have updated the travel advice for Netherlands with an update to the Summary – additional security measures are currently in place at Schiphol International Airport; you should leave additional time to catch your flight. The relevant extract of the advice is below for your reference:

Additional security measures are currently in place at Schiphol International Airport. You should leave additional time to catch your flight. For the latest information, check the Schiphol website or contact your airline or travel company The overall level of the advice has not changed. There are no restrictions within the advice.

View the travel advice in full here

Maldives – FCO Travel advice update The FCO has updated the travel advice for the Maldives with amendments to the entry requirements section – your passport should be valid for a minimum of 6 months from the date of entry into the Maldives. The applicable extract is as follows: Entry Requirements British nationals can get a tourist visa for up to 30 days on arrival in Maldives, provided you hold a valid onward or return ticket and enough funds to cover your stay. Staying for longer than 30 days without the proper authority is an offence. If you intend to work in Maldives you will need to get a work permit before you arrive. You must also pay a security deposit to the Ministry of Finance. See the Ministry of Finance website for current rates For further information and advice on entry requirements you should contact the High Commission of the Republic of Maldives in the UK or the Department of Immigration and Emigration in Maldives. Passport validity Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into the Maldives. The overall level of advice for the Maldives has not changed and there are no travel restrictions in place.

The full FCO travel advice for the Maldives can be accessed here.

Sri Lanka: FCO Travel advice update The FCO has updated the travel advice for Sri Lanka with amendments to the Health section – between 1 January and 29 July 2016, there were 28,548 reported cases of suspected dengue fever; you should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. The applicable extract is as follows: Health Section Between 1 January and 29 July 2016, there were over 28,548 reported cases of suspected dengue fever. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. The overall level of advice for Sri Lanka has not changed and there are no travel restrictions in place The full FCO travel advice for Sri Lanka can be accessed via this link

India: FCO Travel advice update The FCO has updated the travel advice for India with amendments to the Summary – update on the ongoing situation in Kashmir and the tensions in northern Karnataka. The applicable extract is as follows: Summary Following the Mahadayi water tribunal verdict at the end of July, some parts of northern Karnataka continue to experience unrest. If you’re travelling in or through Karnataka state you should monitor local media, be vigilant, avoid protests or large gatherings and follow the advice of the local authorities and your travel company. Following the death of Hizbul Mujahadeen commander Burhan Wani, there have been widespread violent protests in the Kashmir Valley since 9 July 2016 resulting in a number of deaths and serious casualties. Protests and demonstrations which have been ongoing for 22 days are expected to continue across the valley. As a result, curfews are being imposed and lifted on an almost daily basis. The overall level of advice for India has not changed and the FCO continue to advise against all travel in the immediate vicinity of the border with Pakistan, other than at Wagah. The FCO continue to advise against all travel to Manipur and against all but essential travel to Imphal, the state capital of Manipur. See Local travel The FCO continue to advise against all travel to Jammu and Kashmir with the exception of (i) travel within the cities of Jammu and Srinagar, (ii) travel by air to the cities of Jammu and Srinagar, (iii) travel between these two cities on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway, and (iv) travel within the region of Ladakh. The tourist destinations of Phalgam, Gulmarg and Sonamarg fall within the areas to which the FCO advise against all travel. See Local travel and Terrorism

The full FCO travel advice for India can be accessed via this link 

The ABTA Destination Services team continues to monitor the Zika virus situation.

FCO Travel Advice Updates:

Antigua and Barbuda The FCO have updated the travel advice for Antigua and Barbuda with an update to the Summary and Health section – cases of locally transmitted Zika virus have been confirmed in the last 3 months; you should follow the advice of the National Travel Health Network and Centre and discuss your travel plans with your healthcare provider, particularly if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. The relevant extract of the advice is below for your reference: Summary Cases of locally transmitted Zika virus have been confirmed in the last 3 months. You should follow the advice of the National Travel Health Network and Centre and discuss your travel plans with your healthcare provider, particularly if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. The overall level of the advice has not changed. There are no restrictions within the advice. View the travel advice in full here

Turks and Caicos The FCO have updated the travel advice for Turks and Caicos with an update to the Summary and Health section – cases of locally transmitted Zika virus have been confirmed in the last 3 months; you should follow the advice of the National Travel Health Network and Centre and discuss your travel plans with your healthcare provider, particularly if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. The relevant extract of the advice is below for your reference: Summary Cases of locally transmitted Zika virus have been confirmed in the last 3 months. You should follow the advice of the National Travel Health Network and Centre and discuss your travel plans with your healthcare provider, particularly if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. The overall level of the advice has not changed. There are no restrictions within the advice. View the travel advice in full here

Zika Virus – Florida Due to the high call volume and media interest following Florida being added to the list of areas where sporadic Zika virus Zika transmission is detected, ABTA have provided a media statement regarding the Zika virus situation in Florida. Please find below ABTA’s media statement: ABTA Media Statement – Zika virus and Florida “It has been confirmed by Public Health England (PHE) that 4 cases of locally transmitted Zika virus have been confirmed in the last 3 months in the Miami region of Florida. We understand that all cases of locally acquired Zika virus are associated in an area of about 1 square mile in Miami-Dade County. This is hundreds of miles away from the main family resort of Orlando. In accordance with the PHE risk classification, the risk in Florida is considered moderate, based on the number and spread of cases and their demonstrated ability to implement effective control measures for similar diseases such as dengue – a virus transmitted by the same mosquito.

Travellers are advised to follow the FCO travel advice for the USA which states that you should follow the advice of the National Travel Health Network and Centre and discuss your travel plans with your healthcare provider, particularly if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. The NaTHNaC advice for USA advises that

• All travellers should avoid mosquito bites particularly between dawn and dusk.

• There is no vaccination or medication to prevent ZIKV infection.

• It is recommended that pregnant women planning to travel to areas with active ZIKV transmission should consider postponing non-essential travel until after pregnancy.

• Women should avoid becoming pregnant while travelling in, and for 8 weeks after leaving an area with active ZIKV transmission.

• If a woman develops symptoms compatible with ZIKV infection, it is recommended she avoids becoming pregnant for a further 8 weeks following recovery.

• Pregnant women who visited this country while pregnant, or who become pregnant within 8 weeks of leaving this country, should contact their GP, obstetrician or midwife for further advice, even if they have not been unwell.

We will continue to monitor the Zika virus situation and provide updates accordingly.