Official Global Travel Advisories
- Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice
- Avoid all cruise ship travel outside Canada until further notice
Check requirements for returning to Canada:
United Kingdom Register Travel insurance Destinations
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Latest updates: Editorial change.
COVID-19 – Global travel advisory
Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.
If you must travel, check the risk levels specific to your destination and plan your travel accordingly.
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
Safety and security
COVID-19 - Preventative measures and restrictions
In an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19, most governments have implemented preventative measures and restrictions.
These could include:
- curfews, movement restrictions, or lockdowns
- the obligation to wear a face-covering or a surgical mask in some circumstances
- the obligation to present proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test result to access public services and spaces
Before travelling, verify if specific restrictions or requirements are in effect.
There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorists have carried out attacks in several European cities.
In the United Kingdom, previous incidents have resulted in casualties. They include random violent incidents in public areas, such as knife and vehicle attacks as well as explosions.
These incidents have occurred mainly in the London area but have also happened elsewhere.
Further attacks in Europe are likely. Targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
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
Violent crime, such as mugging, knife crime 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 particularly in:
- tourist areas
- pubs and bars
- underground pedestrian walkways
- public transportation
Cellphone theft is rampant in certain tourist areas of London, 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.
- Ensure that your personal belongings, including passports and other travel documents, are secure at all times
- Avoid isolated areas
- Avoid showing signs of affluence and carrying large sums of cash
- Be vigilant, particularly in urban areas and when walking after dark
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. These items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.
Credit card and ATM fraud occurs. Fraud can range from simple to sophisticated, sometimes involving hidden electronic devices that obtain account information and personal identification numbers.
Be cautious when using debit or credit cards:
- pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others
- use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
- avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
- cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
- check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements
Demonstrations take place regularly. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
In Northern Ireland, 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.
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 coming from the opposite direction than what they may be used to.
Public transportation is excellent and extensive.
Taxis are generally safe. Only use officially licensed marked taxis.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Mountain or trekking activities
If you intend on engaging in mountain or trekking activities:
- never do so alone
- hire an experienced guide if you are inexperienced in mountain trekking
- buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
- ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
- ensure that you’re properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
- inform a family member or friend of your itinerary, including when you expect to reach your destination
- obtain detailed information on trekking routes before setting out and do not venture off marked trails
COVID-19 - Entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements
Most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory due to COVID-19.
Before travelling, verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any restrictions or requirements related to this situation. Consider even your transit points, as transit rules are in place in many destinations. This could disrupt your travel.
You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance to change your travel plans.
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 the Foreign Representatives in Canada.
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 United Kingdom. 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.
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.
Tourist visa: Not required for stays of up to 6 months
Business visa or work permit: Required
Student visa: Required
You need a work permit or visa even if you plan to do unpaid, volunteer, part-time or temporary work. A marriage visitor visa is required if you plan to get married or register a civil partnership in the United Kingdom.
Before your departure, you should consult UK Visas and Immigration or the British High Commission in Canada to ensure that you apply for the proper visa and have the appropriate documents for the purpose of your visit (for example, marriage, employment, study), as well as to find out if you will be required to pay a health-care surcharge.
The United Kingdom left the European Union on January 31, 2020, and the withdrawal transition period ended on December 31, 2020. If you reside in the United Kingdom, make sure you have the proper residency status and permit to continue living in the UK after the transition period ends.
- Check if you need a UK visa - UK Government
- UK Visas and Immigration - UK Government
- Pay for UK healthcare as part of your immigration application - UK Government
- Brexit transition - UK Government
Other entry requirements
UK Border officials may ask you to show them a return or onward ticket and proof that you have sufficient funds to support yourself for the duration of 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.
Transiting through a United Kingdom airport
If you plan to transit through a United Kingdom airport, make sure you comply with the entry requirements of your final destination. If you don’t meet the entry requirements of your final destination, you may be denied boarding. Unplanned layovers could lead to substantial travel costs and delays. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance related to changes to your travel plans.
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
- Pandemic COVID-19 all countries: avoid non-essential travel outside Canada - June 18, 2021
- Global Measles Notice - July 23, 2019
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 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.
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 is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
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.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* 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.
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 and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
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.
Medical services and facilities
COVID-19 - Testing facilities
Consult the following links to find out where you can get a COVID-19 test:
- List of private providers of coronavirus testing - Government of the United Kingdom
COVID-19 tests offered at the National Health Service (NHS) should not be used for international travel. They don’t respond to the requirements established by Transport Canada.
If you plan to travel to Canada from the UK, you must obtain an eligible test from a private provider.
- COVID-19 pre-departure testing - Transport Canada
Health care is excellent. Service is available throughout the country. You will be required to pay for medical services provided by the National Health Service (NHS) unless you are an ordinarily resident of the United Kingdom or are seeking access to certain emergency services exempted from fees. You may be required to pay the medical fees in advance.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
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
Laws & 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. This process can take a long time and there is no guarantee that the transfer will be approved by either or both sides.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
Laws on knives
It is illegal to carry, purchase, sell or enter the country with certain types of knives. Convicted offenders can expect heavy fines and jail sentences.
Selling, buying and carrying knives - UK Government
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.
Traffic drives on the left.
International driving permit
You can drive with a valid Canadian licence for up to 12 months from your date of entry. You should carry an international driving permit. Certain car rental companies may require an international driving permit.
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.
If you drive into central London between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., you will be required to pay a daily congestion charge. 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.
The currency of the United Kingdom is the pound sterling (GBP).
When crossing one of the border control points of the United Kingdom 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.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & 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 rains occur and may result in flooding and mudslides. Certain coastal and riverside areas might be particularly subject to flooding.
Fog, and snow can also have widespread impacts, including transportation disruptions.
In mountainous regions, avalanches present a risk that may result in injuries or fatalities
- Keep informed of regional weather forecasts
- Stay away from disaster areas
- Follow the instructions of local authorities, including evacuation orders
Dial 999 for emergency assistance.
To limit the spread of COVID-19, the High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom is limiting in-person services. If you need consular assistance, contact the High Commission by email. For emergency consular assistance please email firstname.lastname@example.org, for an emergency related to a passport, please email email@example.com.
London - High Commission of Canada
Belfast - Consulate of Canada
Cardiff - Consulate of Canada
Edinburgh - Consulate of Canada
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. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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