Published on : Monday, April 6, 2020
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has recently decided to extend its ban on all non-essential global travel for an indefinite period of time. The decision arrives as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to rise across the globe resulting in stricter international travel restrictions and more border closures.
On Saturday, the FCO took to social media and shared a video statement mentioning that the organisation has decided to put an extension to in their non-essential travel and advised against all non-essential global travel for an indefinite period. It also explained that the move arrives as situations are constantly changing and expressed a probability of travelers facing severe disruption and failing to return to the U.K amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The latest action further strengthens the travel advisory issued by the FCO back during the month of March that ordered U.K citizens to refrain from any non-essential travel worldwide for 30 days. It also ended all outbound leisure travel from the U.K. This move was also backed by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab by asking the U.K. citizens to return home while commercial flights were still operating and international routes did not undergo closure.
The FCO also asked the government to arrange special charter flights from priority countries. Rescue flight operations have already commenced. On Sunday, nearly 100 British citizens returned home on a special charter flight from Ecuador and Bolivia. Around 150 Britons also came home from Ghana, the same day. New rescue flight operations to bring back British citizens from India and the Philippines are also being arranged.
However, many British citizens stranded across different corners of the globe still continue to struggle to return to their homeland. A new set of special flights involving ten more airlines including British Airways, EasyJet and Ryanair is expected to begin operations next week.
Meanwhile, after the updated and extended travel advice from the FCO, certain ministers are facing pressures to offer holidaymakers certainty as an extended travel ban would leave travelers in a state of extreme confusion.