The Foreign Office's helpful guide to fans heading to the World Cup.
The World Cup in Brazil is almost here, with thousands of people expected to descend on cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Manaus in the Amazon rainforest to enjoy a month long festival of fun, sun and fabulous football.
Football is in Brazil’s DNA; it’s the only country to have played in every World Cup, and has won it five times. But Brazil is very different to the UK – so just as some of the most famous names in sport are preparing to take their place on football’s biggest world stage, those of us planning to travel to the event should prepare too.
Most people who visit Brazil do so with no difficulty and come home with wonderful memories.
Make sure this trip is one you want to remember by following a few simple safety tips when travelling around Brazil or going to a match.
• Brazil is a big country, 34 times the size of the UK. Plan your travel and accommodation well in advance. Flights are usually the only option for travelling through the country.
• Learn a bit of the language. English isn’t as widely spoken as you may expect.
• Take care of your belongings. Be aware of pick-pockets and never leave your bag or belongings unattended while in public places or on public transport.
• Make sure you have a comprehensive insurance policy. Medical bills can be very high. You don’t want to continue paying for your holiday for years to come.
• Depending on where you travel, you may need various vaccinations. Check with your GP or travel clinic at least eight weeks before your departure.
• Avoid drinking excess alcohol. Spirit measures are much larger in Brazil than in the UK and being in the sun can result in quick dehydration. Brazil has a zero tolerance policy on drink driving. If you are caught, penalties range from fines and driving suspensions to imprisonment for up to 3 years.
• Keep your passport in a safe place; you can carry a photocopy around with you, plus other photo identification (e.g. driving licence) which is widely accepted.
• Arrive early at matches to avoid problems at the gate, or worse, missing the start. Allow plenty of time to reach the stadium – expect heavy traffic and big crowds.
• Monitor local media and advice from the authorities to know the best route to the stadium on match days.
Should you experience any difficulties on your trip to Brazil, the British Embassy can:
• Provide information on transferring money from the UK
• Help you get medical attention if you need it
• Contact your friends and family
• Put you in touch with lawyers if you need them
• Issue a replacement travel document (subject to a fee)
• Contact you within 24 hours of being in hospital/prison
However, the British Embassy cannot:
• Pay your hotel, legal, medical or any other bills
• Investigate a crime
• Give you legal advice
• Get you out of jail
• Get you a ticket for the final!
Embassy staff and members of the Football Supporters Federation will also be available at each venue where England are playing.
For further information, travel advice and contact details, go to www.gov.uk/government/world/brazil
If you have any enquiries for FCO consular staff before you go or while abroad you can ask questions via the FCO Twitter service @FCOtravel
. You can also keep up to date with the latest FCO travel advice by signing up to the FCO Facebook: www.facebook.com/fcotravel