For the past several days, rioting and looting in London has been widespread. While the U.S. State Department has not issued any Travel Alerts or Travel Warnings for visitors to the U.K., On Call recommends that travelers avoid visiting retail centers and follow the advice and emergency public service announcements from authorities. Additional violence is likely, and could continue to spread. Expect a heightened security presence and transportation disruptions in affected cities.
Plan your travels to avoid affected areas, and practice caution anywhere you go. Affected areas include:
- Leeds’ Chapeltown area
Much of the unrest has been focused on retail centers. In Liverpool, police said that there were isolated outbreaks of disorder in the city’s south. In Birmingham, the police warned people to stay away from the city’s central retail area. In Bristol, riots were mainly in the St. Paul’s and Stoke Croft areas. You can read more about the situation and view a map of affected areas here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-14450248.
National Rail has closed several railway stations, including Barking, Harrow-on-the-Hill, Peckham Rye, West Croydon and South Bermondsey, due to the civil unrest. Train services in some areas have been suspended indefinitely.
Advice for those traveling to London:
- Monitor local media for updates.
- Avoid travel to affected areas.
- Remain in a secure location if violence erupts nearby.
- Expect major transportation disruptions.
- Be cooperative and non-confrontational if stopped by police.
- Maintain a low profile by avoiding demonstration areas and discussions of the issues at hand, and by dressing conservatively.
If you’re planning travels to London, don’t forget to pack your On Call travel assistance membership in case you run into any trouble. We can provide assistance not just for medical evacuations and common travel woes, but also for situations just like this.