DFAT advice: is it safe to travel to the UK?

Here’s what DFAT has to say about travelling to the UK.

DFAT advice: is it safe to travel to the UK?

In the wake of the Manchester bombing, many Australians may be reconsidering their UK travel plans.

According to the latest advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the attack in Manchester on 22 May has, so far, resulted in 22 dead and 119 injured. It is the worst terror incident since the 7/7 London bombings in 2005.

As a result, the UK Government has raised the domestic threat level from ‘severe’ to ‘critical’ – the highest it’s been in almost 10 years.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May believes that another attack may be imminent and has deployed armed forces to key sites across the country.

Now, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t travel to the UK. The increased military presence will provide a deterrent for terrorist and criminal activity and will provide relief for UK police to further investigate terror suspects and people of interest.

SmartTraveller has advised Australians to avoid Manchester, especially the areas surrounding the Manchester Arena. If you do head to this region, you can expect significant transport delays and an increased security presence.

If you’re travelling to the UK in the next few weeks, DFAT advises that you be vigilant about your personal safety and closely monitor news and social media channels for updates on security in the region. In other words, exercise a high degree of caution throughout the UK.

According to SmartTraveller, this means:

  • having a basic understanding of the political and security situation in your destination
  • familiarising yourself with the destination, especially dangerous areas of a city, types of crimes, risky modes of transport, specific precautions for women or LGBTI travellers and any behaviour that may offend or break the law
  • being aware of religious holidays or days of national significance. In some countries, terrorists have launched attacks on these occasions
  • understanding the safety of public transport options
  • leaving your itinerary, contact details and scans of key travel documents with friends or family. Always let them know if your plans change
  • following the advice of local authorities on safety and security issues
  • avoiding known flashpoints when travelling between points at your destination, such as protest areas
  • steering clear of unknown areas. Find out how safe they are first
  • if there is a threat of terrorism, consider the level of security provided at the types of locations which may be targeted by terrorists. If you decide to visit such a location, minimise your time there.

So, be wary in public places and report any suspicious activity to the local authorities. To stay on top of the safety situation in the UK, please visit SmartTraveller.

Do you plan to travel to the UK soon? Are you worried about any further attacks? Or do you think that now may be as good a time as any to go? Perhaps even safer than normal?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    25th May 2017
    Guess who departs for London in 2 weeks? I do not intend to let terrorists spoil my plans as this is what they want ????
    25th May 2017
    I too will be heading off to the UK later this year. I have no intention whatever of altering my plans. In the 70s my wife and I were in London when the IRA were letting off bombs on London buses and we just carried on. The real problem is the media working itself into an emotional frenzy, going on and on for days and weeks about tragic events and this is exactly what terrorists want. The advice for travellers listed in the article are things you would consider carefully anyway, irrespective of any terrorist event.
    25th May 2017
    Visited the UK a few years ago, vowed not to return. Although I was born in England and I have very fond memories of the place, it has changed so much for the worse and deteriorating.
    25th May 2017
    Nothing to do with this latest attack though.
    25th May 2017
    Of course it has that is the point of this article. These attacks will become more regular and the UK Government has no real intention of preventing them. There are many more safer and nicer places to visit. People are free to go that is their choice, my choice is not to. End of.
    25th May 2017
    Now would be probably the best time to go given all the increased security.

    Nowhere is 'safe' including Australia. Use common sense - something sadly lacking in many when on holiday.
    25th May 2017
    I read an article a few weeks ago that Australia was ranked around 8th safest place to visit. Sweden ranked much higher!!!
    25th May 2017
    I am in northern England at the moment, not fat from Manchester. I will be traveling to London in the next couple of days. I feel safe and the precautions advised you should always take even in Australia. We will then be traveling to Paris. We come over every year and terrorism will not stop us. I also was living in London during the IRA bombings. Nothing seems to change.

    25th May 2017
    "Now, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t travel to the UK." Really? UK is clearly full of radicals who are not being monitored, obviously not just in Manchester. I would say, the advice should be not to go there till the UK Govt guarantees that they are monitoring all potential radicals - yes, a big ask, but they created this problem themselves by letting everyone in, and need to provides this reassurance. Also, how about separating pedestrians from vehicles (ridiculous lack of protection in Westminster earlier) - after so many attacks in Europe?
    25th May 2017
    Governments cannot be relied upon to provide accurate information as there are politics at play. From all the resources that I have ,as do most other people, I will not visit any Country in Western Europe in the foreseeable future. Of course everyone must decide for themselves and make their own judgement about the associated risks.
    26th May 2017
    Perhaps you should not venture outside of your home. You must be naive to think there is no radicals in Australia. Terrorist will not dictate where of when I travel. To do this is playing into their hands. To blame current governments for the short sighted actions of previous governments will not fix any promlems.
    26th May 2017
    @Hammer I think you are the one being naive. You are already in their hands but you are too blind see. Australia will actually sink and fall to islamic terrorism before Western Europe finally caves in. Why do you call them radicals? they are muslims. I will stay and fight them not succumb, as you probably will, to these trash of humanity .
    26th May 2017
    @Hammer as I said people have choices they must make up their own minds just as I have done.
    26th May 2017
    I will not waste anymore time on your fringe radical views. Thank god most people have the common sense that not all Muslim's are evil, as not all jews, Christians or any other group are evil. As I said before I will not waste time on you any further. Please do not fight any wars on my behalf as I think that you will be too busy fighting your own demons, true or imagined. Goonight.
    A. N. Onymous
    26th May 2017

    THANK YOU for your comment. I couldn't agree more.

    Years ago, when refugees had started to arrive in boats, someone with whom I had taught decades ago in a Christian mission started to rave in emails (to me and others) about the danger of terrorists on the boats. I ignored the comments for some time until he pressured me into responding.

    I told him in no uncertain terms that I couldn't see any reason why terrorists would risk their lives on leaky boats when they could easily buy plane tickets and fly into the country.

    I also said that Muslims weren't the only people who had killed on the basis of their beliefs, pointing to what Christians had done during the Crusades (not mentioned nowadays, are they?), and saying that I didn't think all Roman Catholics or Protestants would approve of, or agree with, what happened in Ireland.

    After I had let loose in my email he replied that I had given him a lot to think about. He said that someone had arrived to pick him up for something and that he would respond to my comments when he returned home.

    Our email correspondence continued, but he never responded to my comments or referred to Muslim terrorists again.

    All "Pommies" are not the same because they are from England.
    All "Yanks" are not the same because they are from the U.S.A.
    All Christians are not the same. If they were, we wouldn't have Roman Catholic and multiple Protestant churches.
    All Muslims are not the same.

    And terrorism does not necessarily equate with Islam any more than it does with any other religion. Yes, there are Muslim terrorists, there are Muslim killers (not necessarily terrorists), there are bad Muslims.

    Does anyone seriously believe there are no Christian terrorists (or Hindu ones, or Buddhist ones, or atheist ones), but only Muslim ones?
    26th May 2017
    Snowflakes are falling on my head. Can you see the?
    30th May 2017
    Very good post A.N Onymous...very good indeed

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