November 19, 2001

Foreign Office and ECB issue advice for England fans in India

Media Release

The Foreign Office and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have joined forces to ensure that fans following the England cricket team on their tour of India have a safe and enjoyable trip.

With so much publicity surrounding the security of the players, many fans planning to follow the team may have concerns about their own personal safety.

But the FCO's advice is that with forward planning and a few sensible precautions, it should be perfectly possible to have a trouble-free holiday.

"Many people have been put off travelling since the 11th September, but India is a fascinating and beautiful country, and it should be possible for any visitor to have a wonderful holiday as long as they are sensible. To help them have a safe and enjoyable time, we urge visitors to check our website for the latest travel advice for India, read our Travellers Tips and take out comprehensive travel insurance. The travel advice is kept under constant review," said Sarah Dring, head of Policy in the Foreign Office's Consular Division.

ECB Chief Executive Tim Lamb said: "We expect a large number of England cricket supporters to travel to India this winter to follow the team's fortunes in the Test and One-Day series. We want supporters to enjoy a trouble-free stay in India and we would urge them to be aware of the Foreign Office advice to travellers visiting the region."

The FCO has the following tips to help travellers have a trouble-free trip to India:

* Read the current Foreign and Commonwealth Office Travel Advice for India before travelling at

* British nationals, in particular those unfamiliar with local conditions, should remain alert, take sensible precautions for their personal safety, and avoid public political gatherings and demonstrations.

* Check that your visa is valid before travelling: many people are caught out by misreading their visa. Don't overstay the time limit on your stay in India or you could go to jail or face a fine.

* Tourists are advised to book at least their first night's accommodation before arrival in India. Those without somewhere to stay can fall prey to rogue taxi and rickshaw drivers who offer to take them to a hotel. Unwitting victims have been attacked and robbed.

* Keep your money and passport in a safe place. Take particular care while travelling on trains: organised gangs of thieves work the trains on tourist routes.

* Foreign currency regulations are strict: only change money at banks or legal foreign exchange dealers. Keep and look after your transaction receipts as you may be required to provide proof that you obtained your rupees legally.

* Health: many foreigners fall victim to the heat, which may be extreme, and to dysentery and diarrhoea caused by eating and drinking contaminated food and drink. Only eat recently prepared food that has been thoroughly cooked and take sufficient liquids in the form of water that has been boiled, or bottled drinks, to prevent dehydration.

* Insurance: Make sure you have comprehensive medical insurance to include private treatment and hospitalisation as well as medical evacuation, as the State medical services are not generally very good.

* Dress: while Indian attitudes to informal, European styles of dress are generally very tolerant, local religious or other sensibilities should be borne in mind.

* Photography: don't photograph military installations. Photography at some civil airports is also forbidden as they are shared with the Indian Air Force.

* British nationals already in India may contact the 24 hour consular emergency line at the British High Commission, New Delhi on +11 4100017, if they have any further concerns.