Fire and rescue services
We haven't changed our level of advice:
Exercise normal safety precautions in the United Kingdom.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
There's a raised threat of terrorist attack in the UK. The 3 key sources of this threat are groups or individuals motivated by:
There's a threat of international terrorism to the UK:
Terrorist have attacked other European cities.
Targets have included:
European security services have also stopped several planned attacks in recent years, including in the UK.
UK authorities have installed security barriers on London's major bridges. More police are at public events and on public transport. Authorities have asked people to:
UK authorities remain concerned about the threat from violent extremism linked to extreme right-wing ideology.
In March 2019, authorities arrested a man for a non-fatal stabbing. Authorities declared it a terrorism event linked to far right ideology.
There's a moderate threat in England, Wales and Scotland from Northern Ireland-related terrorism. An attack is possible, but not likely.
The threat from Northern Ireland-related terrorism in Northern Ireland remains 'severe'. An attack is highly likely.
In April 2019, violent clashes happened in Londonderry during a police operation at a housing estate. One person died in an attack that police are treating as a terrorist act.
Northern Ireland-related terrorist groups have used firearms and bombs to target security forces. They have attacked or attempted to attack in public places. Civilians have been at risk.
Police are continuing to investigate the links between Northern Ireland dissident groups and suspect devices sent to various addresses in the UK in March 2019.
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent.
To stay safe:
Since the 1998 peace agreement, the political situation in Northern Ireland has improved.
Tensions can rise in Northern Ireland from April to August. This worsens in the weeks leading up to 12 July. This is known as the 'Twelfth' or 'Orangemen's Day'.
Petty crime occurs across the UK. This includes pickpocketing and mobile phone theft. It happens more often in summer.
Credit card and ATM fraud is on the rise. It often involves sophisticated equipment.
There have been drink spiking and acid attacks across the UK.
Knife-related crime is increasing.
To stay safe:
Check the UK Metropolitan Police website for more safety and crime prevention advice.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave. Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many 1000s of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
If you need counselling, the Samaritans provide private phone support. You can call 24 hours a day on 116 123 (free call).
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in the UK. Take enough legal medication for your trip.
Carry a copy of your prescription and a dated letter from your doctor stating:
Check the UK Home Office for advice about medication.
The standard of medical facilities is similar to those in Australia.
To find your nearest GP surgery or hospital, call the National Health Service (NHS) on 111.
If you need urgent medical care, go to your nearest hospital.
There's a reciprocal healthcare agreement between Australia and the UK.
Some GP and hospital treatments are free if you're in the UK for a short visit.
Check the Department of Human Services to find out what's covered. You'll need to prove you're eligible.
This agreement doesn't cover other countries in the EU.
If you're staying more than 6 months, you'll pay an Immigration Health Surcharge. This will be charged when you apply for your visa.
When your visa is granted, your details will be shared with the NHS. This lets you access medical care. Under this scheme, you'll need to produce your biometric residence permit at the doctor's or hospital.
If you need a medical evacuation, the NHS won't cover the cost. Medical evacuation can be very expensive. Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave Australia.
You're subject to local laws and penalties, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Penalties for possessing, using or trafficking illegal drugs are severe. They include imprisonment and fines.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
The UK recognises dual nationality.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders.
Make sure you meet all entry and exit conditions. If you don't, the Australian Government can't help you.
The UK is scheduled to leave the EU on or before 31 October 2019. It's negotiating the terms of its exit with the EU.
If you're travelling as a tourist for less than 6 months, you usually won't need a visa.
The UK can refuse entry without a visa. This happens if they think you're trying to enter for something other than tourism. You'll need a visa if you're planning to do paid or unpaid work, volunteer or get married. Arrange this before you travel.
Check with UK Visas and Immigration if:
Australian Government officials can't help you change your UK visa status.
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the UK High Commission for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
If you’re travelling on an Australian ePassport, you can use eGates on arrival in the UK, free of charge. You don't need to complete a landing card.
You can use eGates if you're:
You need a stamp in your passport if you're:
If you have a UK visa, you can apply for the UK's Registered Travellers Scheme (RTS). If you're eligible, this gives you faster clearance through UK border control.
The RTS lets you use electronic passport gates. These are the UK and EU passport queues. They're at most UK airports and Eurostar stations.
Check UK Visas and Immigration for details.
Some airports have enhanced security rules. These affect people leaving the UK or transiting through. Check UK Department of Transport for details.
UK airports have extensive security screening. If you're flying to the UK, allow extra time.
You'll also go through extended screenings and luggage checks when you leave for the UK.
Check UK Visas and Immigration for details. Also check the UK's hand luggage rules.
Contact your airline or travel provider for more details.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
The official currency is the Pound Sterling (GPB).
ATMs are available and credit cards are widely used.
If you're travelling to or from a non-European Union (EU) country, declare cash of more than 10,000 euros or equivalent. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash.
Authorities will fine you if you don't declare this cash.
Weather can be extreme. Flooding can occur in warmer weather. There are snowstorms in the colder months.
Severe weather can affect airline, bus and train services. Check with local transport providers and emergency service providers for up-to-date details.
You can drive a car or motorbike for up to 12 months. You need a full Australian licence for that vehicle, after 12 months you will require a UK driver's licence. An International Driving Permit is not needed.
If riding a motorcycle, always wear a helmet.
Road and safety conditions in the UK are comparable to Australia. Follow advice from local authorities.
Weather and other conditions that may affect driving in the UK.
Rail services are extensive. They can be affected by industrial action, weather or engineering works.
The Australian Government doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check the UK's air safety air profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
Always get a police report when reporting a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
For criminal issues that aren't an emergency:
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
London WC 2B 4LA, United Kingdom
Phone: (+44 20) 7379 4334
Fax: (+44 20) 7887 5559
Facebook: Australian High Commission in the United Kingdom
Check the High Commission website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
Be the first to know official government advice when travelling.