FCO update advice for travel to Kenya following another deadly attack. Where do travellers stand?
The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office has changed its travel advice for those travelling to Kenya. They now advise against all but essential travel to coastal areas within 150km of the Somali border. The expansion of the 60km no-go zone that was previously suggested follows the kidnapping of a French woman by Somali bandits on 1st October. Her husband was shot dead in the attack.
Official FCO advice now states:
We advise against all but essential travel to coastal areas within 150km of the Somali border, following two attacks by armed gangs in small boats against beach resorts in the Lamu area on 11 September and 1 October 2011. This advice will be kept under review. Both attacks were on beach-front properties, with two Westerners kidnapped and one murdered. Beach-front accommodation in that area and boats off the coast are vulnerable.
The full advice can be found on the FCO website.
Foreign Secretary William Hague has warned against copycat killings: “We are seeing possibly copycat kidnappings taking place. That is very alarming. We are working with the Kenyan authorities and urging them to improve security in any way they can.”
So where do you stand if you have plans to visit Kenya within the coming days or weeks? Well, you’ll need to keep a close eye on how the FCO’s advice develops. Currently, the FCO are advising against all but essential travel to certain parts of Kenya. Travelling against this advice will invalidate your travel insurance policy. So if something unexpected happened while you were in Kenya you would not be covered for it, no matter how unrelated it was to the current unrest.
What if you have a holiday booked to one of the affected areas? Well, you might have to cancel it. But your money should be safe. In this situation, ABTA bonded travel agents and tour operators are expected to provide their customers with an alternative holiday or issue a full refund on any money paid. You can find out more in the FAQs section of ABTA’s website.