England fans urged to heed Ukraine advice

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is urging thousands of England fans travelling to Ukraine for Euro 2012 to take note of the latest travel advice – particularly to read up on the country’s local laws and customs before travelling to avoid penalties off the pitch.

To help fans be on the ball, the FCO has partnered with the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) to produce the Euro 2012 Free Lions guide.

The free 130-page guide provides advice for England supporters on everything from accommodation and navigating public transport between stadiums to words and phrases that may be useful when travelling around the host cities.

"With the squad now announced, anticipation will build around England’s participation at Euro 2012. We encourage those fans going to Ukraine to prepare fully before travelling," said Jeremy Browne, Minister for Consular Affairs.

"Check out our travel advice at www.fco.gov.uk/euro2012 and take advantage of the free Football Supporters’ Federation guide. These simple steps can help ensure your trip is one to remember, not one to forget.”

Kevin Miles, of the Football Supporters’ Federation, added: "This is an exciting time for fans as England prepares for Euro 2012. We want supporters to have a trouble-free tournament and being aware of the local laws and customs in the Ukraine will help avoid unnecessary problems so fans can concentrate on cheering our lads to glory.

"The Free Lions guide provides information from how to get to the Donbass Arena, to where’s good to eat and sleep. Ultimately we have put together a wealth of cultural nuggets that will help fans familiarise themselves with the host countries."

FCO travel advice:

- Carry your passport at all times for ID purposes – police often carry out passport checks on foreign nationals.

- Make sure you get comprehensive travel insurance. In Ukraine you will not be covered by your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and State medical facilities are not up to Western standards. You will not have access to private clinics or hospitals offering better care without comprehensive travel insurance. The FCO cannot pay bills for you.

- You must hold a valid International Driving Permit to drive legally in Ukraine.

- Drive with caution, especially at night: street and vehicle lights can be weak, road surfaces can be poor, speed limits, traffic lights and road signs are often ignored, and drivers rarely indicate before maneuvering.

- Travellers of Asian or Afro-Caribbean descent and individuals belonging to religious minorities should take extra care.

- Although homosexuality is legal in Ukraine, public attitudes are less tolerant than in the UK and public displays of affection may attract negative attention.

- The HIV/AIDS rate in Ukraine remain one of the highest in Europe: practice safe sex.

Visit www.fco.gov.uk/euro2012 for further travel advice.

For up-to-date travel advice on the go visit www.facebook.com/fcotravel or twitter.com/fcotravel

You can order, or download, a free copy of Free Lions at www.fsf.org.uk/euros