The Foreign Office has updated its travel advice to warn against all but essential travel to Bolivia in light of the growing political and social tensions in the country.
It follows the resignation of president Evo Morales after a near 14-year tenure and a number of senior officials on Sunday (10 November) following a disputed election result.
There have been violent clashes in capital La Paz and the neighbouring district of El Alto where Bolivia’s main international airport is situated.
The FCO has warned of disruption to airport access and flights in recent weeks where “increased levels of disruption” are possible.
Anyone planning to travel to or from El Alto should contact their airline or travel company in advance before leaving for the airport, and to check whether ground transportation options are operating normally before leaving the terminal.
Visitors are also advised to avoid all inter-city travel by road where possible owing to attacks on inter-city buses and a limited emergency services presence in some more remote areas.
“If you decide to travel within Bolivia, you should plan your travel carefully, regularly check the viability of your plans and be prepared to change them at short notice,” reads the FCO’s latest travel advice.
“Transport options are extremely limited, road journeys and land border crossings may take a lot longer than planned, and there may be disruption to supply of goods in parts of the country. Land borders are subject to closure at short notice.”
Of the political situation in Bolivia, the FCO adds: “The political and security situation is very uncertain across Bolivia following the resignation of the president and senior public officials on 10 November following an extended and ongoing period of wide-scale political demonstrations and civil unrest across the country since disputed elections in October 2019.
“Many demonstrations have resulted in violence, including in La Paz city centre and other major towns and cities. Further protests are likely to occur at short notice and may turn violent without warning. You should continue to avoid large crowds and public demonstrations, don’t attempt to cross blockades, and pay close attention to developments via local media and this travel advice.”
Britons in need of urgent consular assistant should contact the British embassy in La Paz on (591 2) 243 3424. More than 40,000 British nationals visited Bolivia in 2017.