Some of the entries on the Gov.uk travel advice site could come straight from the pages of Evelyn Waugh. “There have been reports of possible incidents of unrest and violence linked to rumours of bloodsuckers,” it said of Malawi recently. I can fall down a rabbit hole at home surfing for such gems. But for the traveller on the hoof, how much more convenient to have advice and emergency procedures on one app, which also tracks where you are – and has a panic button to connect you to an adviser in the UK.
Offering all this, CloseCircle comes from the security firm Drum Cussac, and membership even guarantees evacuation in the event of life-threatening danger. The app puts you under the protection of a team of 30 former police, military and security personnel, tech specialists and intelligence analysts. If they see you’re close to trouble, they’ll alert you and, if necessary, call you to discuss the best way to proceed. The travel safety summaries on the app are similar in content to established government advisories, but minus the obvious stuff civil servants have to put in (“Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in San Marino, attacks can’t be ruled out”).