BIOT - BRITISH INDIAN OCEAN TERRITORY

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The British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) or Chagos Islands is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom situated in the Indian Ocean, halfway between Africa and Indonesia. The territory comprises the six atolls of the Chagos Archipelago (Phehandweep फेहंद्वीप in Hindi and other North Indian languages, Paeikaana Theevukal பேகான தீவுகள் in Tamil, Feyhandheebu ފޭހަންދީބު in Dhivehi) with over 1,000 individual islands (many tiny) having a total land area of 60 square kilometres (23 sq mi).



The largest island is Diego Garcia (area 44 km2), the site of a joint military facility of the United Kingdom and the United States. Following the eviction of the native population (Chagossians) in the 1960s, the only inhabitants are US and British military personnel and associated contractors, who collectively number around 4,000 (2004 figures).



* British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) is a British Overseas Territory. There is no British diplomatic or consular representation in the British Indian Ocean Territory and it is administered from London.



* You will require a permit in advance if you intend to visit any of the outer islands of the Territory. Rules governing permits changed on 01 January 2011, for further information please check BIOT Country Profile. Access to Diego Garcia is only permitted to those with connections to the military facility. The BIOT Administration in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London is responsible for the issuing of permits.



* The threat from terrorism is low. But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.



* There are no medical facilities in the territory. Search and rescue facilities are limited. You are required to obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. See General Insurance.