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UK Foreign Office issue travel warnings for Spain, Turkey, Thailand and more




The UK Government has updated its warnings for a number of countries across the world.


It has issued information and guidance on a number of factors which could be a danger to people who are visiting certain countries.

The Foreign Office has put together a list of vital tourist warnings for more than 200 countries and territories.


It covers a range of issues, from as minor as vaccination advice to more serious threats including unlicensed taxis and terror risks.

Most holidays to the destinations included in the foreign travel advice list go off without a hitch, but a quick glance over your chosen country's entry can help ensure a smooth and relaxing break.


You can also see the full list of 225 destinations on the official government website (FCO).




Spain

Including the islands like Majorca and Ibiza, almost 19 million visits were made by Brits to Spain last year and the vast majority of these were trouble free.


Some of the FCO warnings for Spain include:


Demonstrations


There have been large gatherings of people in Barcelona and other areas of the Catalonia region in relation to the political developments there. 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.

Demonstrations may also cause some disruption and delays to transport services.



Balcony falls


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."


Pollution


Temporary restrictions may apply to car use in Madrid on days when air pollution levels are high.


Fraud


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.



Tunisia


Another one with bags of history and great weather, Tunisia also has some areas you should avoid.


No go areas

Terrorism


A state of emergency is in effect in Tunisia, imposed after a suicide attack on a police bus on 24 November 2015. It’s been extended a number of times, most recently on 6 April 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.


Homosexuality


A 99% Islamic country, homosexuality is a criminal offence in Tunisia. You can see specific advice from the FCO.



Thailand

Popular with backpackers and holidaymakers alike, Thailand welcomes more than one million British nationals each year.


But The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to areas within the provinces on the Thai-Malaysia border


Travel advice includes:

No go areas

Air quality


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.


Cigarettes


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.


Marijuana


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.


Social media


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.


Crime


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


A strict Islamic country there are a number customs and laws very different to the UK including:


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.


Same-sex relationships


All homosexual sex is illegal and same-sex marriages are not recognised.


Women dress


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. Cross-dressing is illegal.


Alcohol


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.



Greece


As an EU member you can expect easy travel until the UK is set to leave in October. However there are a few things you should bear in mind when travelling:


Travel restrictions


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). 


Mosquitoes


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.


Cash restrictions


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.


Alcohol


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.



Egypt


A popular destination which is one of the most historically significant on the planet.  Around 319,000 British nationals visited Egypt in 2017. Most visits are trouble free. But there are some things you need to bear in mind if you're planning a trip to the land of the pharoahs.


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.


And they 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.


Visas


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.



Turkey


British nationals made over 2.3 million visits to Turkey in 2018 and most visits were trouble free.  But there are some strong warnings regarding no-go areas and terrorist activity in the country.


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.


Demonstrations


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.


Sexual assault


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.


Stray dogs


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.


Earthquakes


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.



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