Foreign & Commonwealth Office to overhaul advice for British travellers

Foreign & Commonwealth Office to overhaul advice for British travellers

Advice from the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office will be updated to describe terror threats around the world, giving more detail to travellers.

The newly configured advice will allow British travellers make “informed decisions” about their plans, foreign secretary Boris Johnson has announced.

Under the plans, advice issued by the FCO would move away from simple descriptions such as “there is a high threat from terrorism”.

It will now provide more detail, for example on whether attacks are likely to happen, the targets of previous attacks and methods used, which groups are responsible, and what host countries are doing to counter the threat.

Johnson said during a consultation on the changes the approach was welcomed by both the public and travel industry.

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In a written ministerial statement, Johnson said: “I want British nationals to be able to travel abroad for business, study or pleasure, but with a clear personal understanding of the risks entailed in doing so.

“I am confident that these changes will ensure our travel advice continues to provide effective information to help British travellers make informed decisions about their personal travel plans and security overseas.

“Our travel advice will continue to reflect the best judgments we can make on the information available to us at the time.”

The changes will be implemented in the coming months.

Responding to the announcement, a Collinson Group spokesperson said: “We welcome the announcement that the FCO is to reform how it issues travel advice, including more information about terrorist targets and the likelihood of attacks. 

“While FCO guidance is a great place to start and designed specifically for British Nationals abroad, it is not intended to provide an entirely comprehensive safety and security briefing for business travellers. 

“While for many insurers FCO guidance is a trigger for coverage, companies should recognise it will not necessarily be politically independent or tailored to the nuances of those who need to conduct business in potentially dangerous places where independent and non-prescriptive advice can have much more value.”