It’s prime summer holiday season and travellers headed for a number of popular trip destinations have been issued with a number of warnings and advice.
The Foreign Office offers guidance for holidaymakers looking to go to any of more than 200 foreign countries – a list that includes Spain, Tunisia, Greece, Turkey, Thailand and Egypt.
As reported by Devon Live , the advice covers routine topics such as vaccinations, as well as crime and terrorism.
Read the full list of 225 destinations here .
A reported 5.1 magnitude earthquake occurred on July 19 in Magoula, Attica region, and was felt strongly in Athens. Local authorities are responding.
If you’re in the region you should follow the advice of local authorities. Further information is available on the Greek General Secretariat for Civil Protection website.
As of April 7, 2019, the Hellenic Police will begin implementing systematic passport control checks for all European citizens travelling to/from destinations outside the Schengen area (including the UK).
There were a number of cases of West Nile virus in Greece in 2018.
You should consider preventative measures to minimise exposure to mosquitoes, for example using mosquito repellent when outdoors and closing doors or windows or using screens.
Greece has capital controls in place.
You can withdraw cash using a UK card up to the daily limit imposed by the Greek banking system (usually €600) or the daily limit imposed by your UK card issuer – whichever is the lower amount.
The Greek police won’t accept rowdy or indecent behaviour, especially where excessive drinking is involved.
Greek courts impose heavy fines or prison sentences on people who behave indecently.
Spain (Including the islands like Majorca and Ibiza)
The FCO says: “Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Spain” and warns that attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners.
The Spanish authorities take measures to protect visitors, but you should be vigilant and follow the instructions of the local authorities.
There have been large gatherings of people in Barcelona and other areas of the Catalonia region in relation to the struggle for independence. Further gatherings and demonstrations are likely to take place.
They may occur with little or no warning and even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can escalate and turn confrontational. You should exercise caution if you’re in the vicinity.
Demonstrations may also cause some disruption and delays to transport services.
The FCO say: “There have been a number of very serious accidents (some fatal) as a result of falls from balconies.
“Many of these incidents have involved British nationals and have had a devastating impact on those involved and their loved ones. Don’t take unnecessary risks around balconies, particularly if you’re under the influence of drink or drugs.
“Your travel insurance may not cover you for incidents that take place on a balcony or if you were under the influence of drink or drugs when it happened.”
Temporary restrictions may apply to car use in Madrid on days when air pollution levels are high.
There have been reports of an increase in holiday makers being encouraged to submit a claim if they have experienced gastric illness during their stay. If this is false you can face charges in Spain and the UK.
High temperatures during the extended summer months carry an increased risk of forest fires. Check on the outbreak of fires with the local civil protection authority and report any you see immediately to the emergency services on 112.
A state of emergency is in effect in Tunisia, imposed after a suicide attack on a police bus on November 24 2015. It’s been extended a number of times, most recently on April 6 2019 by one month.
Since the terrorist attack in Sousse in June 2015, which targeted tourists, the UK government has been working closely with the Tunisian authorities to investigate the attack and the wider threat from terrorist groups.
The Tunisian government has improved protective security in major cities and tourist resorts.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to:
- the Chaambi Mountains National Park and the designated military operations zones of Mount Salloum, Mount Sammamma and Mount Mghila
- the militarised zone south of the towns of El Borma and Dhehiba within 20km of the rest of the Libya border area north of Dhehiba
- the town of Ben Guerdane and immediate surrounding area
Homosexuality is a criminal offence in Tunisia.
No go areas
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to areas within the provinces on the Thai-Malaysia border, including:
- Southern Songkhla province (excluding the areas north of and including the A43 road between Hat Yai and Sakom and areas north-west of and including the train line between Hat Yai and Pedang Besar)
Urban areas across Thailand, especially in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, can experience poor air quality and high PM 2.5 counts, occasionally entering the unhealthy and hazardous levels.
This may aggravate bronchial, sinus or asthma conditions.
It is illegal to import more than 200 cigarettes per person into Thailand. This is enforced at customs on arrival.
Those who exceed the limit may be fined ten times the value of the items.
If you are found guilty of possession of marijuana you could receive a long prison sentence and/or a heavy fine.
If you’re found guilty of being in possession of 20 grams of a Class A drug on exiting Thailand you risk receiving the death penalty.
Be aware that posting images on social media of people drinking alcohol or wearing inappropriate clothing can result in fines and/or imprisonment both for the person who uploaded the images and the people in them.
Violent sexual assaults and unprovoked attacks have been reported in tourist destinations across Thailand.
Drink spiking and date rapes have been reported in tourist destinations, with both male and female victims.
Be on your guard against pickpockets and bag snatchers, especially from thieves on motorbikes or when travelling in open transport like tuk tuks.
United Arab Emirates
Sex before marriage
All sex outside marriage is illegal, irrespective of any relationship you may have with your partner in the UK.
Due to the laws on sex outside marriage, if you become pregnant outside marriage, both you and your partner could face imprisonment and/or deportation.
All homosexual sex is illegal and same-sex marriages are not recognised.
According to the FCO women should dress modestly when in public areas like shopping centres. Clothes should cover the tops of the arms and legs, and underwear should not be visible.
Gender non-conforming clothing, or “cross-dressing”, is illegal.
Non-Muslim residents can get a liquor licence to drink alcohol at home and in licensed venues. These licences are valid only in the Emirate that issued the licence.
Residents must also get a permit to be able to drink in licensed venues.
No go areas
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise 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.
They also advise against all but essential travel to the area west of the Nile Valley and Nile Delta regions, excluding the coastal areas between the Nile Delta and Marsa Matruh
Same sex couples
Although same-sex sexual activity is not explicitly criminalised in Egypt, the charge of “debauchery” has been used to prosecute LGBT people.
The flying of a rainbow flag at a concert in September 2017 led to the arrest of at least 66 individuals on debauchery charges.
British passport holders travelling to Egypt normally need a visa. You can get a visa online at Visa2Egypt . Tourist visas granted using the e-visa system are valid for a maximum of three months.
Although it’s still possible to get a tourist visa on arrival, it’s better to get one before you travel.
No go areas
The FCO advises against all travel to areas within 10km of the border with Syria, except the city of Kilis.
The FCO advise against all but essential travel to all areas of Sirnak, Mardin, Kilis (including Kilis city) and Hatay provinces as well as the provinces of Diyarbakir, Tunceli and Hakkari.
Sporadic demonstrations take place in cities across Turkey, some of which have, in the past, become violent.
In Istanbul previous demonstrations have centered on the area around Taksim Square, on Istiklal Street and in the Besiktas and Kadikoy districts and more recently in Okmeydani.
You should avoid all demonstrations and leave the area if one develops. Police have used tear gas and water cannon extensively to disperse protests.
In 2018, 32 cases of sexual assault, including rape, were reported to British consular staff in Turkey.
Most of these cases occurred during the summer holiday period in coastal tourist areas. Many were committed late at night by someone the victim met during the evening.
There have also been sexual attacks on minors visiting toilet facilities alone.
According to the FCO most towns and cities have stray dogs. Packs congregate in parks and wastelands and can be aggressive.
If you’re bitten, seek medical advice as rabies and other animal borne diseases are present in Turkey.
Many parts of Turkey are subject to earthquakes. You should familiarise yourself with safety procedures in the event of an earthquake and follow the advice of the local authorities.