Flights to Chile resume but Foreign Office travel ban remains
Flights to Chile have resumed following last week's devastating earthquake, but the Foreign Office is still advising tourists to steer clear of parts of the country worst hit by the quake.
The Foreign Office continues to warn against all but essential travel to the regions of Maule and Biobio, south of the capital Santiago, which bore the brunt of the earthquake. Towns that were badly damaged include Chile's second largest city Concepcion, Talcahuano and Temuco.
Police have imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in Concepcion to try to halt the widespread looting that broke out after the earthquake.
Holidaymakers due to travel to Chile on package holidays over the next couple of weeks are being given the option to change their itineraries to avoid the damaged areas or to rebook for travel at a later date.
Although some airlines have resumed services to Santiago, British travellers already in Chile are advised to check with their airline or tour operator before travelling to the airport for their flights home.
Travellers affected by the earthquake should check their travel insurance policies to see if they are entitled to recover out-of-pocket expenses.
The tourist office is this week urging tourists to return to Chile, pointing out that many of the regions most visited by holidaymakers, including Patagonia in the south, Easter Islands and the Atacama Desert, were not damaged by the earthquake.
However, travel around Chile remains difficult, particularly south of the capital where some roads are still partially blocked. Anyone planning a trip should talk to their tour operator and check the latest Foreign Office advice.