British passports: What to do if you need a new passport during coronavirus travel ban

This week Boris Johnson announced a huge lockdown on the UK which permitted people to only travel if “essential”. The stringent new measures urged people to remain indoors and only venture out to buy food, carry out “essential” work or for a medical reason. However, covid-19 has not only impacted Britons’ daily lives but their holiday plans too.


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The latest advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FC) in response to the coronavirus pandemic is advising British nationals against all but essential international travel.

The latest advice reads: “Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.

“If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available.

“Many airlines are suspending flights and many airports are closing, preventing flights from leaving.”

Many Britons are now scrambling to re-book their summer holiday flights as some airlines still refuse to accept cancellations.

But as holidays are now delayed, some people’s passports are set to expire leaving many wondering whether they can still apply for a British passport.

Well, the answer is yes, British citizens can still buy a passport despite the ongoing coronavirus.

A spokesman from the Home Office said that flight cancellations and the latest travel advice from the FCO does not impact on people applying for a passport.

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He added: “But there might be delays in processing.”

The government website says that it costs £75.50 to renew or replace a passport if you apply online or £85 if you fill out a paper form.

It should take three weeks but it may take longer.

If you need a passport urgently then you need to book an appointment at the passport office and pay online.


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However, British nationals abroad who need to apply for a passport won’t be able to apply for one if the country’s visa application centre (VAC) is closed.

But an emergency travel document or an “emergency passport” can be purchased if need be.

These can be bought if you’re abroad, need to travel and cannot get a passport in time.

Those who have never had a British passport and are abroad cannot apply for an emergency one.

There have so far been 440,386 cases of coronavirus worldwide with 112,036 of those recovering.

Globally, just under 20,000 people have died since the outbreak began back in December.

The UK has 8,227 cases and 433 deaths.

Italy is still the world’s epicentre, having had the most deaths and catching up to China with its total number of cases.

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