Ahead of the World Cup draw on Friday the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Football Supporters Federation (FSF) have teamed up to urge England fans to do their homework before booking travel to Brazil.
Brazil is a big country – roughly seven times larger than South Africa – and tourist numbers have been steadily increasing. More than 150,000 British nationals visited Brazil in 2012 and the vast majority of visits were trouble free.
Friday’s draw could see England fans having to travel distances up to 3,000km between group games. Travelling these distances can take up to four hours by air and fans have been warned to be on the ball when it comes to travel plans.
Mark Simmonds, the Minister for Consular Affairs, said: “Like me, England fans are looking forward to Friday’s draw but it is crucial that they do their research before they arrange flights to Brazil and, importantly, their onward travel within the country.
“There are some distinct challenges, notably the vast distances between venues, so we urge fans to prepare for these – remember to check the travel advice and FCO website before you book your flights.
“Many travelling fans will have attended international tournaments before but this tournament poses new challenges. We encourage all fans to plan thoroughly to ensure a safe and successful trip in Brazil. You wouldn’t expect Roy Hodgson and the team to be unprepared for the World Cup, so you shouldn’t be either.”
Kevin Miles, Chief Executive of the Football Supporters' Federation, said: “It’s really important that fans think carefully before they travel and know what to expect in Brazil. Every tournament is different and the travel distances to get between games will make an Exeter to Hartlepool away day look like a doddle.”
In addition to long travel distances between games the FCO is highlighting the following travel advice for those thinking of heading to Brazil:
- Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Brazil.
- Be aware that there are additional requirements for all children under 18 entering or transiting Brazil without their parents or legal guardian, or travelling with one parent only.
- Ensure that you obtain travel insurance and that it covers you for all activities that you may want to carry out while in Brazil.
- There were significant protests during last year’s Confederations Cup. Fans travelling to the World Cup should avoid all protests and demonstrations and should monitor local media and follow the guidance of local authorities.
- Be aware that Brazil has a high road accident rate and crime levels are also high, especially in major cities.
For more detailed information, and to stay up to date with the FCO’s latest travel advice for Brazil, England fans can visit: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/brazil
If you have any enquiries for FCO consular staff before you go, or while abroad, you can now ask questions via the FCO’s new Twitter service @FCOtravel using #beontheball or the FCO’s Facebook.