Britons should stop all non-essential travel globally – foreign minister

The Edinburgh airport is pictured empty amid concerns over the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spread, in Edinburgh, Scotland Britain March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

LONDON (Reuters) – British foreign minister Dominic Raab advised British nationals on Tuesday to stop all non-essential travel globally for the next 30 days, the latest stringent measure taken by the government to try to stem a growing coronavirus outbreak.

“With immediate effect, I have taken the decision to advise British nationals against non-essential travel globally, for an initial period of 30 days and of course subject to ongoing review,” Raab told parliament.

Referring to the growing number of border restrictions in other countries, Raab said Britons who decide they need to travel abroad should be aware of the increased risks of doing so, including the possibility of not being able to get home.

He added the Foreign Office was not yet advising Britons abroad to immediately return to Britain, except for those in a few countries, but he warned those who wanted to head home to keep in mind that flights could be cancelled at short notice or be stopped by travel restrictions.

Raab also said the government would work with the freight industry to ensure the flow of goods continued with as little disruption as possible.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, writing by Elizabeth Piper; editing by Michael Holden

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