In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic the UK government advised on 17 March against non-essential travel overseas.
Please note, we are working with the Bangladesh authorities and airlines to support British nationals who want to leave Bangladesh and return to the UK. If you are unable to leave at this time, you should follow the advice of the local authorities, keep in contact with friends and family, and continue to follow our travel advice.
If you are a British national in Bangladesh, you should be prepared to stay in the country until commercial flights resume. You will need to be ready to comply with local isolation, testing or quarantine requirements, and to rely on the local health system. Given that many restrictions remain in place, and continue to be introduced, moving within Bangladesh may become more difficult than normal for British nationals. Unless you have an urgent reason to travel within Bangladesh, you may have to stay where you are whilst the flight ban and lockdowns remain in place.
Urgent Consular Assistance
If you require urgent consular assistance and your question is not covered in the FAQs below, please contact our consular helpline on:
+88 02 55668700
Alternatively contact us via web messenger:
Why did the British Government not inform us that flights were being cancelled?
Decisions taken by airlines to suspend and/or alter their operations were commercially driven and/or in response to restrictions imposed by the Bangladesh Government. These decisions were often taken with little or no notice. We have been updating our travel advice regularly throughout this period with information likely to affect British travellers. As a result of the global travel restrictions being introduced at short notice the UK Foreign Secretary took an unprecedented decision on 17 March to advise all British travellers against all non-essential travel. Since then we have been encouraging British travellers to return to the UK while commercial options were available. We are continuously updating our travel advice page with the latest information.
Why has Biman decided to cancel its flights?
This is a decision taken by the Bangladesh government to suspend flights to the UK for 7 days from 31 March. We recognise that this will disrupt the plans of British citizens currently in Bangladesh who intended to return to the UK between 31 March – 7 April. We are in regular contact with Biman airlines and the Bangladesh Government to ensure flights can resume from 7 April and that existing customers can be rebooked on flights as soon as possible. We also recognise that capacity constraints may involve people remaining in Bangladesh for longer than they had anticipated.
We have seen other airlines suspend their flights only to cancel at a later date. What guarantees are there that Biman won’t do the same?
Decisions taken by Biman airlines or any other carrier are out of our control and we cannot therefore guarantee that flights will resume or operate when they are scheduled. However, resuming flights is a top priority for the British Government and the British High Commission is in regular contact with the Bangladesh authorities to ensure British travellers in Bangladesh are able to return to the UK as soon as possible. We will update our travel advice with the latest information as soon as it becomes available.
I had flights booked with another airline, such as Emirates, who are no longer operating flights. How can I change my booking to Biman?
You are advised to contact Biman Bangladesh Airlines for all flight bookings.
Biman Bangladesh Airlines: https://biman-airlines.com
Call Centre (Working hours: 8:30 AM to 8:00 PM)
+88-01777715613, +88-01777715614, +88-01777715615, +88-01777715616
Alternatively, please speak to the travel agent/airline who booked your original flights. You may also wish to contact your travel insurance provider to check what costs they are able to cover associated with rebooking your flights.
I can’t get through to Biman. What should I do?
Biman have advised that their online flight information is up-to-date. They are currently receiving a large volume of calls, so if you are unable to get through to Biman by phone, we suggest you continue to try to contact them via their website
We have notified Biman about feedback from British travellers of the difficulties they are experiencing. We will continue to raise these concerns with them until normal service resumes.
What is the British Government doing to ensure flights will resume?
We are working with the Bangladesh authorities and airlines to support British nationals who want to leave Bangladesh and return to the UK. We have been told that flights will resume on 7 April and we are monitoring this closely. We will update our travel advice with more information as soon as we receive it. If you are unable to leave at this time, you should follow the advice of local authorities, keep in contact with friends and family, and continue to follow our travel advice.
Why isn’t the British Government evacuating British citizens in Bangladesh like in other parts of the world?
The British Government is prioritising repatriation flights in countries where there are very large numbers of stranded British nationals, where there have been no commercial options available for some time, and where no further flights are scheduled for the foreseeable future. We have no plans to introduce repatriation flights from Dhaka, but are monitoring the situation closely.
We have published advice for British nationals who do not have immediate departure options available to them:
The only available flights are too expensive – what is the British Government doing to assist citizens to get back to the UK?
We have been working closely with airlines to ensure as many people as possible can get commercial flights home in this unprecedented and rapidly changing situation. Prices are a commercial decision for the airline or travel company.
If you have had to purchase a new airline ticket(s), your original airline insurance provider will be able to advise arrangements for refunds.
If your airline has cancelled your flight you may need to buy a new ticket. Your original airline insurance provider will be able to confirm arrangements for refunds.
I’m running out of my medication. What should I do?
If you need medicine, you should visit the nearest pharmacy or ask for assistance from family/friends or your accommodation provider. Carry any medical papers or prescriptions and be prepared to answer questions if stopped by law enforcement authorities.
If the same medication you’re on is not available, consult a local doctor for a Bangladeshi alternative or go to the nearest hospital. In case of any emergency, you can dial the Bangladesh National Emergency Hotline – 999 from your mobile/telephone for any assistance whilst in Bangladesh.
How can I extend my Visa?
If you are concerned that your visa is about to expire/has just expired, the Government of Bangladesh has advised that you will be able to extend your existing visa by 3 months (once government offices reopen).
Can you suggest an authentic source to get COVID-19 related information?
The latest Public Health England guidelines on Coronavirus and information on returning travellers can be found here
If you are unable to return to the UK or choose not to do so once flights resume
- Please make sure you have adequate accommodation, funds and travel insurance including for any medical bills.
- You will need to follow advice of local authorities – your safety and security is the responsibility of the local authority where you are. You will also need to be ready to comply with local isolation, testing or quarantine requirements.
British High Commission Dhaka
United Nations Road
Dhaka – 1212
Follow the British High Commissioner to Bangladesh on Twitter: @RCDicksonUK
- March 29, 2020 at 7:13 pm by Editor (displayed above)
- March 29, 2020 at 7:13 pm by Editor