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United Kingdom

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Latest updates: The Health tab was updated - travel health notices (Public Health Agency of Canada).

Risk level(s)

United Kingdom - Exercise a high degree of caution

Exercise a high degree of caution in the United Kingdom due to the threat of terrorism.

Safety and security

Crime

Violent crime, such as mugging and sexual assault, occurs particularly in larger cities. There have been incidents of passengers being sexually assaulted and robbed when using unlicensed taxis. Consult Transport for London’s Report a crime or incident page for information on what to do if you have been the victim of a crime on the transportation system, including in a taxi.

Report a crime or incident on the transportation system – Transport for London

Petty crime such as pickpocketing and purse snatching occurs in:

Cellphone theft is rampant in tourist areas such as Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square.

Vehicle theft and theft from parked vehicles also occurs, particularly in tourist areas and roadside stops.

Spiked food and drinks

Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances, as these items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.

Fraud

ATM scams are on the rise in the United Kingdom (U.K.); they can range from simple to sophisticated, sometimes involving hidden electronic devices that obtain account information and personal identification numbers.

To avoid being a victim of fraud:

More on overseas fraud

Terrorism

There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorists have carried out attacks in several European cities. Since March 22, 2017, separate attacks, causing multiple deaths and injuries, have taken place in the U.K.:  5 in London and 1 in Manchester.

The attacks have been indiscriminate and have targeted public places including

While the majority of attacks have occurred in the London area, the likelihood of an attack elsewhere in the United Kingdom cannot be ruled out. Further attacks in Europe are also likely.

Targets could include:

Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places. Be particularly vigilant if attending sporting events and during religious holidays and other public celebrations, as terrorists have used such occasions to mount attacks.

The Government of the United Kingdom maintains a public alert system on terrorism and communicates threat level changes online and through local media (including social media).

Current terrorism threat levels in the UK - British Home Office

Demonstrations and civil unrest

Demonstrations occur and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. They can lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, civil unrest, often associated with Protestant parades through predominantly Catholic neighbourhoods, may occur during the Orange Order summer marching season (April to August). Expect possible delays and disruptions in some areas during the weeks leading up to July 12, the day Protestants celebrate their victory at the 1690 Battle of the Boyne.

Exercise caution during the summer marching season and follow the advice of local authorities.

Road safety

Roads are excellent but are often narrow and congested (especially in urban areas).

Use caution when entering a traffic circle (roundabout). Pedestrians should use caution when crossing streets and be mindful that traffic is usually coming from the opposite direction than what they may be used to.

Public transportation

Public transportation is excellent and extensive.

Taxis

Only use officially licensed marked taxis.

Trains

Delays may occur on train routes, including Eurostar trains, due to track repairs or flooding.

Delays at ports of entry

Expect delays also at airports and other ports of entry due to stringent security screening measures.

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

General information about foreign domestic airlines

Mountain or trekking activities

If you intend to do mountaineering or trekking:

Scottish Avalanche Information Service 

Entry/exit requirements

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the British authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.

Passport

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least the expected duration of your stay in the U.K. This requirement may also apply when travelling to Northern Ireland from other parts of the United Kingdom, and vice versa.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.

Useful links

Visas

Canadians needing any type of visa should consult UK Visas and Immigration to ensure that they apply for the proper visa and have the appropriate documents for the purpose of their visit (for example, marriage, employment, study), as well as to find out if they will be required to pay a health-care surcharge. Canadians planning to work or volunteer in the United Kingdom for any period of time are required to have a work permit.

Tourist visa: Not required (for stays of six months or less)

Business visa or work permit: Required*

Student visa: Required

*A work permit or visa is required even if planning to do unpaid, volunteer or part-time or temporary work.

Other entry requirements

UK Border officials may ask you to show them a return or onward ticket and proof of sufficient funds for your stay. If you are unable to do so, or if you seek entry as a visitor but are found with items indicating that you intend to seek any type of employment (such as curriculum vitae or educational certificates), you may be denied entry and expelled from the country. Similarly, if a person seeking entry as a visitor is suspected of planning to reside in the UK for any reason, including having a UK-based partner, entry may be denied. If you have previously been refused entry, contact the British High Commission in Ottawa to enquire about entry clearance before making plans to visit the UK, even if a visa is normally not required.

Children and travel

Learn about travel with children.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.

Measles: outbreak

Outbreaks of measles are ongoing.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that can cause serious complications for some people.

You are at increased risk of measles infection if you have not had the illness or if you are not up to date on your vaccinations.

Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

Risk

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is not recommended.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada

Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Western Europe. When in doubt, remember…boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!


Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in Western Europe, certain insects carry and spread diseases like Lyme disease, tick-borne encephalitis, and West Nile virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.


Malaria

Malaria

There is no risk of malaria in this country.


Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in Western Europe, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.


Medical services and facilities

Good medical care is widely available. You may be required to pay medical fees in advance.  

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

Laws and culture

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.

Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons

Canada and the United Kingdom are signatories to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. This enables a Canadian imprisoned in the United Kingdom to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and British authorities.

Drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.

Identification

You must carry adequate photo identification, such as a passport or residency permit, at all times. Keep a photocopy of your passport in case it is lost or seized.

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in the United Kingdom.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of the United Kingdom, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.

General information for travellers with dual citizenship

Driving

Traffic drives on the left.

International driving permit

Although you should carry an international driving permit, you can drive with a valid Canadian licence for up to 12 months from your date of entry.

Use of cellular telephones

The use of a cellular telephone while driving is prohibited, unless it is fitted with a hands-free device.

Drinking and driving

Penalties for drinking and driving are severe. Convicted offenders receive heavy fines or jail sentences.

Congestion Charge

A fee is charged to those driving into central London on weekdays. The Congestion Charge zone is indicated by a large “C” painted on the roads and by signs. You can pay the fee by phone, online or at selected shops and gas stations. Parking in London is limited and charges are high.

Money

The currency of the United Kingdom is the pound sterling (GBP).

When crossing one of the external border control points of the European Union (EU), you must make a declaration to customs upon entry or exit if you have at least €10,000 or the equivalent in other currencies. The sum can be in cash, cheques, money orders, traveller’s cheques or any other convertible assets. This does not apply if you are travelling within the EU or in transit to a non-EU country.

Cash controls information - European Commission

Natural disasters and climate

England, Scotland and Wales are subject to wind storms that can cause death and injury and severely damage commercial, residential and natural areas. Heavy flooding, fog, rain and snow can have widespread impacts, including transportation disruptions.

More information on weather conditions:

In mountainous regions, avalanches present a risk that may result in injuries or fatalities.

Scottish Avalanche Information Service 

Assistance

Local services

Emergency services

Dial 999 for emergency assistance.

Consular assistance

London - High Commission of Canada
Street AddressCanada House, Trafalgar Square, London, SW1Y 5BJ, England, United KingdomTelephone+44 (0) 207 004 6000Fax+44 (0) 207 004 6053Emailldn.consular@international.gc.caInternetwww.unitedkingdom.gc.caServicesPassport Services AvailableFacebookHigh Commission of Canada to the United KingdomTwitterHigh Commission of Canada to the United Kingdom: @CanadianUK
Belfast - Consulate of Canada
Telephone44 (0) 2897-542405EmailCanada.consul.bel@aol.co.ukFacebookHigh Commission of Canada in the United KingdomTwitter@CanadianUK
Wales - Consulate of Canada
Telephone44 (0)165 6662 413Emailcanadaconsul.wales@merthyrmawr.comFacebookHigh Commission of Canada in the United KingdomTwitter@CanadianUK

For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in London and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.


The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.

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