COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions


British High Commission, Ottawa: COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Updated: 26 March 2020

In this document you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions from British Nationals who are travelling, working, studying or temporarily living in Canada and abroad.

Frequently Asked Questions – British Nationals Abroad

I’m a British National currently based in Canada, should I return to the UK?

We strongly recommend if you live in the UK and are travelling abroad, whether working or on holiday, you should return where and while there are still commercial routes available as you may experience greater difficulties getting back in the coming weeks. 

I’m in Canada on a work or study visa. Does this apply to me?

We strongly recommend that all British tourists and short-stay travellers currently abroad should return to the UK now, where and while there are still commercial routes available. International travel is becoming more difficult with the closure of land borders and further restrictions, such as on freedom of movement, are being introduced daily. If you decide to stay, there may not be options in the future to return, given the unprecedented conditions that we face.

If airlines cancel flights home, will I be repatriated? 

We are working with airlines to ensure as many people as possible can get commercial flights home and welcome the efforts they are making.  We only organise government repatriations in exceptional circumstances.

I require financial assistance to get back to the UK, can you help?

The FCO provides information on what to do and who to contact if you require financial assistance abroad.

I’m looking to head back to the UK. Can you confirm if my flight will go ahead?

Be prepared that your plans may need to change at short notice. We encourage you to work directly with your travel operator to find the best flight options back to the UK. Please refer to our Travel Advice for the latest updates.

I’m presenting symptoms of COVID-19, will I be allowed to return to the UK? 

If you develop coronavirus symptoms overseas, you should seek medical assistance and follow the advice of the local authorities.

Can I transit to the UK via Canada? 

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions. All countries may restrict travel without notice. For this reason, travellers who are seeking to transit through Canada should check Transport Canada advice for the most up-to-date information. While it is currently possible to transit through Canada, restrictions do apply. We are urgently seeking clarity from the Canadian authorities on these restrictions and will update our Travel Advice when we receive this information.

Frequently Asked Questions – British Nationals in Canada

What airlines are available for my return to the UK? 

If you are travelling in Canada you should contact your travel operator now.

Currently, Air Canada and British Airways are still operating international flights to the UK with some routes suspended. Other airlines have suspended flights to the UK, with exemptions. Porter Airlines have suspended all flights.

To note, only the following airports are operating international flights: Toronto Pearson (YYZ); Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau (YUL); Calgary International Airport (YYC); and Vancouver International Airport (YVR).

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