The Foreign & Commonwealth Office release incident figures
A report from the Foreign Office has revealed for the first time that over 3,000 British citizens got into trouble in South Asia last year. Many are British Asians visiting friends and family so the Foreign Office is releasing these figures today to warn British Asian nationals of the dangers of being unprepared for your travels – however familiar the destination.
According to the most accurate figures available, the period April 05–March 06 saw 52 Britons hospitalised in India; 12 arrested in Bangladesh; 10 die in Pakistan and 345 lose their passports in these three countries. Considering how familiar the majority of visitors are with the destination, these findings are quite surprising.
FCO research has suggested that whilst British Asians take precautions when they are travelling to holiday destinations such as Europe and the USA, it is often not the case when it comes to visiting friends and family in their country of origin. Many travel without insurance, without having vaccinations or even ensuring they have the correct re-entry documents.
It is essential that those travelling to such destinations make the necessary preparations before departure. Simple precautions like getting comprehensive travel insurance, getting appropriate jabs and taking copies of important documents. Just a little preparation can make sure your holiday is one to remember for the right reasons. textiles.
Nearly 700,000 British citizens visit India, Pakistan or Bangladesh each year. More information is available at www.fco.gov.uk/travel or by calling 0845 8502829.
Background and Regional Information
British Incidents in Asia based upon National Consular Return data
- 01 April 2005 – 31 March 2006 -
Estimated no. British Visits¹
Total no. serious assistance cases³
¹Estimated visitor figures supplied by country
²Most accurate figures available, based on Compass NG (lost/stolen passports) data March 05-April 06
³Total no. serious assistance cases - excludes 'Advice and Self Help' cases (i.e. 'General advice sought')
As part of the Know Before You Go Campaign, the Foreign Office is today issuing the following advice to British citizens visiting friends and family in India, Pakistan or Bangladesh:
1. Always take out travel insurance
Medical expenses can be extortionate - it can cost up to £45,000 to get transported by air ambulance back to the UK from the Indian subcontinent
It is unlikely you will have free access to good quality medical treatment, and costs can be extremely high if you become ill or injured
If you have dual nationality, seek advice from your insurer on whether this affects your cover
2. Ensure all documentation is correct
Make sure the name on your passport is the same one you give when booking flights and arranging other travel documentation
If you have dual nationality, make sure you have a Certificate of Entitlement (to the Right of Abode) in the passport of your other nationality for you and your family
Make a photocopy of the relevant pages in your passports (back page of your British passport containing your photograph and details and the Certificate of Entitlement in your other passport) and keep them separately to your passports
3. Know your nationality status
If you are a dual national in the country of your other nationality, Her Majesty's Government can provide you with consular assistance only in exceptional circumstances
If you or your father were born in Pakistan or Bangladesh, you may be considered a national of that country by the authorities, even if you don’t hold a passport of that country. This, again, may limit the assistance that the British government can offer you – so the onus is on you to be prepared for your trip.
4. Go to your GP to check whether you or your family need vaccinations
Even if you have lived in a country in the past, you may no longer be immune to diseases local to that region
Ensure all required vaccinations are up-to-date
Check the Department of Health website at www.dh.gov.uk for advice on current inoculations required for the country you are planning to visit
5. Know the personal import laws
It is illegal to bring meat products & pickles, milk, dairy or other animal products (e.g. fish, eggs, honey), chestnuts, potatoes or potato seeds into the UK from any country outside the EU