Is your holiday destination safe? Latest terror threat levels and travel advice
The summer holidays have begun at last and a trip abroad is now on a lot of people’s minds.
From Turkey to Spain, Brits are set to flood the countries for some sun, sea and sand.
Although terrorist attacks are considered likely or very likely in some destinations, millions of us head abroad every year without a problem, reports Chronicle Live.
This weekend British Airways announced it was suspending its flights to Cairo due to security concerns, disrupting trips for thousands of holidaymakers.
Where is safe to go and where should you avoid travelling to? What precautions should you take while travelling?
Here we take a look at the UK Government’s travel advice for destinations across the globe.
(Image: AFP/Getty Images)
Terrorists are “likely” to try to carry out attacks in Australia, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) says.
The current national terrorism level is ‘probable’.
The FCO says: “Over 670,000 British nationals visit Australia every year. Most visits are trouble-free.
“Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners.
“You should be vigilant and take sensible precautions.”
There is a wider risk of tropical cyclones which occur, mainly in Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia between November and April.
Australia is prone to seasonal natural disasters including tropical cyclones, flash flooding, dust storms and bush fires
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UK health authorities have classified the Bahamas as having a risk of Zika virus transmission.
Cases of Chikungunya virus have been confirmed, with visitors advised to take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
The hurricane season in the Bahamas normally runs from June to November.
There have been incidents of violent crime including robbery.
The FCO says that although there’s no recent history of terrorism in the Bahamas, attacks can’t be ruled out.
Almost 28,000 British nationals visited the Bahamas in 2015.
There are often demonstrations taking place in Brussels, particularly around transport hubs and the Schuman area.
There can be isolated incidents and people are urged to remain vigilant.
Terrorists are “very likely” to try to carry out attacks in Belgium.
Attacks could happen anywhere, including on public transport and transport hubs and in other places visited by tourists.
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The FCO says: “Security operations are likely to be carried out at short notice.
“You should remain vigilant and follow the instructions of the Belgian authorities.
“Police have asked the public not to comment on police operations on social media.”
There is no recent history of terrorism in Cape Verde.
However, while the risk of terrorism is low, attacks can’t be ruled out.
UK health authorities have classified Cape Verde as having a moderate risk of Zika virus transmissions.
There is also a low risk of malaria in the capital city, Praia.
Cases of chikungunya virus and dengue fever have been confirmed. Travellers should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
The hurricane season normally runs from June to November.
Visitors are urged to take extra care travelling between Haiti and the Dominica Republic by road.
There are have been armed robberies on roads close to the border with Haiti.
There is no recent history of terrorism in the Dominican Republic, but attacks can’t be ruled out.
You are advised to take extra care when travelling between Haiti and the Dominican Republic by road.
There have been armed robberies in the Dominican Republic on roads near the border with Haiti.
British Airways has suspended flights to Cairo for a week over unspecified security concerns.
A spokesperson said on Saturday: “We constantly review our security arrangements at all our airports around the world, and have suspended flights to Cairo for seven days as a precaution to allow for further assessment.
“The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our priority, and we would never operate an aircraft unless it was safe to do so.”
Terrorists are “very likely” to try and carry out attacks in Egypt, the Foreign Office warns.
Current FCO advice on travel to Egypt warns against “all travel” to certain parts of the country.
(Image: @shanghai_dan /Twitter)
But Cairo is part of a safer region, where the FCO only suggests reviewing its advice before visiting.
Current advice warns against “all but essential” travel by air to Sharm el-Sheikh.
That advice followed the bombing of a Russian airline which was brought down in 2015 shortly after leaving the Red Sea resort, killing 224 people.
The FCO also advises against all travel to the Governorate of North Sinai, due to the significant increase in criminal activity and continued terrorist attacks on police and security forces that have resulted in deaths
The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the Governorate of South Sinai, with the exception of the area within the Sharm el Sheikh perimeter barrier, which includes the airport and the areas of Sharm el Maya, Hadaba, Naama Bay, Sharks Bay and Nabq.
Tourists are also warned off the area west of the Nile Valley and Nile Delta regions, excluding the coastal areas between the Nile Delta and Marsa Matruh (as shown on the map).
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Travellers should be vigilant at all times and follow the advice of the Egyptian authorities and your travel company, if you have one.
The FCO says: “There have been threats to western nationals, institutions and businesses posted on websites and social media.
“The main threat to foreigners is from extremists linked to Daesh-Sinai. There is a heightened threat of terrorist attacks targeting Coptic Christians from extremists linked to Daesh-Sinai in Egypt.”
You should avoid crowded places and gatherings, including in or around religious sties and during religious festivals, such as the month of Ramadan and the Christmas period when terrorist groups have sometimes called for attacks.
Take extra care over local holiday weekends, as some terrorist attacks have occurred during these times.
Religious sites have been targeted by terrorist groups:
• On November 24, 2017, terrorists killed over 300 civilians at a North Sinai mosque during Friday prayers.
• On April 18, 2017 a group of militants opened fire on a security checkpoint near Saint Catherine’s Monastery at Mount Sinai killing a police officer. Daesh has claimed responsibility for this attack.
• On December 11, 2016, a church next to the Orthodox Cathedral in Abbaseya, Cairo, was attacked by a Daesh-linked suicide bomber killing 29 people.
Other attacks have included:
• On October 20, 2017, several policemen and militants were killed during a shoot-out following a raid on a terrorist group in Bahariya Oasis in Egypt’s Western Desert, according to Egyptian authorities.
• On October 31, 2015, a flight from Sharm el Sheikh to St Petersburg crashed in North Sinai resulting in the deaths of 224 people, most tourists. Egyptian and Russian authorities are conducting an investigation. The investigation hasn’t yet formally concluded, but on November 17, 2015 Russian authorities stated that the crash was caused by an explosive device on board the flight.
• On December 9, 2016 there was an IED attack targeting a checkpoint on Pyramid Road in Giza, killing at least six police officers. Harakat Hasm, a violent terrorist group, claimed responsibility.
(Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The FCO says terrorists are “very likely” to carry out attacks in France.
Due to ongoing threats to France by Islamist terrorist groups and recent French military intervention against Isis, the French Government has warned the public to be especially vigilant and has reinforced its security measures.
Protests linked to the yellow vest (gilets jaunes) movement continue across France, generally taking place on Saturdays.
A number of previous demonstrations have led to violence and extensive damage to property in Paris and in other cities across the country.
There remains some migrants around Calais, who may seek to enter the UK illegally.
There have been instances of migrants seeking to slow down traffic on approach roads to ports, including placing obstacles on the Calais Port approach road.
If this happens you are advised to keep moving where it’s safe to do so, or stop and call 112 if it isn’t safe to proceed.
Since April 7 2019, the Hellenic Police has been implementing systematic passport control checks for all European citizens travelling to/from destinations outside the Schengen area (including the UK).
Waiting times at passport control may be affected on departure from and arrival into Greece. Travellers are advised to arrive at the airport in good time.
There are regular strikes, sometimes called at short notice that can cause disruption to public transport (including air travel and ports), as well as road networks and borders.
Localised or severe weather extremes, including wildfires, can affect areas of Greece over the extended summer period. At times, this can cause travel disruption.
British nationals make around 3 million visits to Greece every year, with most visits trouble free.
But terrorist attacks can’t be ruled out.
On 9 June 2019 there were large political demonstrations related to proposed changes to Hong Kong’s extradition laws, which were overwhelmingly peaceful, but isolated clashes between a small minority of the protestors and the police took place in the early hours of the following morning.
Further demonstrations may take place in the coming weeks and you should be aware that such demonstrations can close off large sections of the city and affect public transport.
You should remain vigilant and follow the advice of local authorities.
The typhoon season in Hong Kong normally runs from April to October.
A number of dengue fever cases have been reported. You should take precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes particularly between dawn and dusk.
There’s been no recent history of terrorism in Hong Kong, but attack can’t be ruled out.
The FCO says you should take sensible precautions against pick pocketing and other street crime.
Around 3 million British nationals visit Ireland each year.
Most visits are trouble free but terrorist attacks can’t be ruled out.
You should carry an acceptable form of photo-identification to travel between the UK and Ireland.
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In May 2019, the Municipality of Capri introduced a law forbidding the use of any disposable plastic objects such as bags, cutlery, plates, cups, food packaging, trays, straws on the island of Capri.
Violations can incur a fine of up to 500 euros.
Milan Linate airport will be closed from 27 July to 27 October 2019 for improvement work.
The most convenient airports for Milan and the surrounding areas during this time will be Milan Malpensa and Bergamo Orio al Serio.
Due to Mount Etna’s recent volcanic eruption, a series of earthquakes and earth tremors are affecting the Catania area and the eastern part of the island of Sicily.
Terrorists are “likely” to try to carry out attack in Italy.
The FCO urges you to remain vigilant and follow the advice of the local authorities.
Several strong earthquakes were felt in central Italy in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Demonstrations may occur with little or no warning in cities. You should avoid any protests, political gatherings or marches.
A state of emergency in the Parish of St James, which includes Montego Bay, Hanover and Westmoreland has been extended until August 13, 2019.
As part of these security enhancement measures, the Government of Jamaica has put in place a number of Zones of Special Operations (ZOSOs) which are currently active in:
- Denham Town in Kingston (due to expire on 18 June 2019);
- Mount Salem in Montego Bay (due to expire 8 July 2019).
The FCO says: “Both the State of Emergency and ZOSO measures allow the military to support the police in joint security operations in response to recent violence and shooting incidents.
(Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
“Security operations are ongoing and further activity including curfews could occur with little or no notice.
“You should exercise caution if you’re in the area, particularly if travelling at night, and follow the advice of the local authorities, including any restrictions.
“These may also result in road closures or travel delays, and the operating hours of some businesses may be subject to change.”
Since 9 November, Fly Jamaica has not been listed by the Norman Manley International Airport for arrivals and departures.
UK health authorities have classified Jamaica as having a risk of Zika virus transmission.
Although there have been no recent terror incidents in Jamaica, attacks can’t be ruled out.
There are currently large numbers of migrants moving en masse from Honduras through Guatemala to Mexico and beyond, which is having an impact on border crossings.
The situation is fluid but borders crossings at Tecun Uman (Guatemala/Mexico), Agua Caliente (Honduras/Guatemala) and Tijuana (Mexico/USA) are currently affected and subject to periodic closures.
You’re advised to check with local authorities and tour operators before attempting to cross land borders.
Major tourist destinations like Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta have mostly not seen the levels of drug-related violence and crime experienced elsewhere in Mexico.
However, since 2017 there have been a number of reported shooting incidents and other incidents of violence in the main tourist destinations, including in locations popular with tourists.
There is currently an increased police presence in the Cancun area, including in the hotel zone.
While tourists have not been the target of such incidents, anyone in the vicinity of an incident could be affected.
UK health authorities have classified Mexico as having a risk of Zika virus transmission.
There’s no recent history of terrorism in Mexico, but attacks can’t be ruled out.
The Amsterdam health authorities have launched a campaign to warn tourists about the danger of buying a substance which is sold as cocaine, but is actually white heroin. This has caused a number of deaths.
Everybody over the age of 14 is required to show a valid identity document on request.
Terrorists are “likely” to try to carry out attacks in the Netherlands. You should remain vigilant and follow the advice of local authorities.
Norway has extended the temporary border controls on its internal Schengen border until further notice.
These border controls take place at ports with ferry traffic from Sweden, Denmark and Germany. Make sure you carry a valid passport on all these routes.
Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Norway.
The FCO says around 581,000 British nationals visit Norway every year. Most visits are trouble-free.
(Image: Getty Images)
Terrorist attacks in Poland can’t be ruled out, say the FCO.
Visitors should also be aware of street crime, with thieves targeting money and passports.
The FCO advises that you don’t leave them all in one place.
Terrorist attacks in Portugal can’t be ruled out.
There have been several deaths as a result of falls from balconies. Don’t take any unnecessary risks, especially when under the influence of drink or drugs.
There have been large gatherings of people in Barcelona and other areas of the Catalonia region in relation to political developments there.
Further gatherings and demonstrations are likely to take place, the FCO warns.
Even demonstrations that are intended to be peaceful can escalate and turn confrontational.
You are advised to exercise caution if you are in the vicinity.
Terrorists are “likely” to try and carry out attacks in Spain, the FCO says.
Terrorist groups, including Kurdish groups, Daesh and far left organisations continue to plan and carry out attacks.
Most terrorist attacks have taken place in the south and east of the country and in Ankara and Istanbul.
Attacks are most likely to target the Turkish state, civilian and demonstrations.
But the FCO says some attacks could target western interests and tourists from western countries.
The FCO advise against all travel to within 10km of the border with Syria and to the city of Diyarbakir.
The FCO advise against all but essential travel to:
- all other areas of Sirnak, Mardin, Kilis (including Kilis city) and Hatay provinces
- the provinces of Diyarbakir, Tunceli and Hakkari
UAE (includes Dubai and Abu Dhabi)
If you’re planning to travel with prescribed or over the counter medicines for personal use, you’ll need to meet the UAE’s specific requirements for your medicine to be allowed into the country.
Terrorists are “likely” to try to carry out attacks in the UAE.
The UAE authorities announced on 7 June, 2017 that showing sympathy for Qatar on social media or by any other means of communication is an offence.
Offenders could be imprisoned and subject to a substantial fine.
United States of America
Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in the USA.
Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners.
You are advised to monitor media reports and remain vigilant at all times.
You’ll need prior authorisation to enter the United States using a British passport, either through a visa, a Permanent Resident Card, or the Visa Waiver Programme.
Restrictions apply depending on the type of passport you hold, your nationality, criminal history, and countries you may have recently visited.