Is it safe to travel to Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Türkiye right now?

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Is it safe to travel Egypt. Camel near pyramids.

Last Updated on January 29, 2024 by Rikki

Are you planning a trip to Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, or Türkiye but feeling unsure about the safety of these destinations amidst the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict? While the UK and EU governments have advised against non-essential travel to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the situation in the neighboring countries should also be approached with caution.

Lebanon, located to the north of Israel, is experiencing increased tensions and has seen missile strikes between the militant group Hezbollah and Israel. The UK’s Foreign Office advises against all travel to Lebanon and urges Britons to leave the country due to the potential for rapid deterioration.

Egypt, on the other hand, has not been drawn into the conflict and has open borders for international travel. Most of its major cities and tourist sites are far removed from the conflict zones.

Jordan remains relatively unaffected by the instability, with tourist destinations operating as usual despite border crossing closures.

Türkiye, not sharing a border with Israel, is also safe for travel. So while some areas should be approached with caution, it is still possible to visit these countries and experience their extraordinary attractions.

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Is it safe to travel to Lebanon?

Lebanon, which lies to the north of Israel and shares a border, is currently facing potential dangers due to its proximity to the deepening Israel-Hamas conflict. The militant group Hezbollah has already exchanged missile strikes with Israel, causing tensions along the border to remain high. As a result, the UK’s Foreign Office (FCDO) has upgraded its guidelines for Lebanon, advising against all travel and urging British citizens to leave the country.

The latest FCDO advice states, “Events in Lebanon are fast-moving. The situation has the potential to deteriorate quickly and with no warning.” The FCDO also highlights the possibility of severe disruptions or cancellations of commercial routes out of Lebanon and the closure of roads across the country. Other governments, including Australia, the United States, and several European countries such as Ireland and France, have also issued travel warnings and advised against travel to Lebanon due to the current risks.

Is it safe to travel to Egypt?

Unlike Lebanon, Egypt has not been drawn into the Israel-Hamas conflict, even though it shares a border with Gaza and Israel. The Rafah border crossing, which could potentially be a route for Palestinians in Gaza seeking safety, is currently closed. However, in terms of international travel, Egypt’s borders remain open, and airlines and package holiday operators are operating as usual within the country.

Flights to Egypt do not pass through Israeli airspace and have not been affected by the conflict so far. Most of Egypt’s major cities and key tourist sites are located far away from the border with Israel and Gaza, ensuring the safety of tourists. The FCDO has not issued an “avoid all non-essential travel” advisory for Egypt, as it has done for Israel.

Tourists are advised to remain vigilant and exercise caution at tourist and religious sites, as well as in public gatherings. The recent shooting of two Israeli tourists and an Egyptian tour guide by an Egyptian police officer in Alexandria serves as a reminder to stay cautious in certain areas. Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) advises against travel to the Governorate of North Sinai and warns against travel to Gaza via the Rafah border crossing.

However, it is safe to arrive by air when traveling to popular tourist destinations such as Sharm el-Sheikh, Hurghada, Luxor, Aswan, and Abu Simbel, which are located away from the border areas.

Is it safe to travel to Jordan?

Jordan, which shares borders with Israel and the West Bank, as well as with Syria, is also affected by the Israel-Hamas conflict. The FCDO recently updated its travel guidelines for Jordan, advising against all but essential travel within 3km of Jordan’s border with Syria.

It also warned that border crossings between Jordan and Israel may be closed at short notice due to the ongoing conflict. However, most tourist destinations in Jordan remain unaffected by the instability, and flights to Amman and Aqaba airports continue to operate as normal. It’s important to note that package holidays booked to Jordan in areas recommended by the FCDO may not be eligible for a refund if canceled.

To reassure tourists, the Jordan Tourism Board has released a statement emphasizing that the country is a safe and welcoming destination. They emphasize their commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of all visitors and reassure that Jordan’s borders are open and eager to host tourists from around the world.

Is it safe to travel to Türkiye?

Türkiye, despite concerns from some travelers, is not directly located near the conflict zones and does not share a border with Israel. It is approximately 879 kilometers away. As a result, travel to Türkiye has not been directly affected by the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The FCDO guidance for Türkiye still advises against all travel within 10 kilometers of the border with Syria and against all but essential travel to Sirnak and the Hakkari province. However, popular tourist hotspots such as Istanbul, Ayvalik, Antalya, Cappadocia, and coastal resorts remain unaffected, and airlines in the country are operating normally.

Travelers can have peace of mind in visiting these areas without direct risks related to the conflict.

Current situation in the region

The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has resulted in a substantial number of casualties and has prompted travel advisories from various governments. Israel’s continuous bombardment on Gaza, which is home to more than 2 million people, has resulted in a significant loss of life and destruction.

As a result, the UK and EU governments have warned against all but essential travel to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories due to the escalating violence and instability in the region. The impact of the conflict has also extended to neighboring countries, with potential risks and safety concerns arising in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, and Türkiye due to their proximity to the conflict zones.

Guidelines from the UK Foreign Office

The UK Foreign Office (FCDO) provides comprehensive travel advice for various countries, including travel advice for Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. They have also issued updates on travel advisories for Lebanon, urging against all travel and advising British citizens to leave the country due to the rapidly evolving situation.

The FCDO provides guidance on travel to Egypt, emphasizing the open borders and normal operation of airlines and package holiday operators in the country. For Jordan, they advise against all but essential travel within 3km of the border with Syria and warn about the potential closure of border crossings between Jordan and Israel.

The FCDO’s guidance on travel to Türkiye warns against travel within 10 kilometers of the border with Syria and against all but essential travel to specific regions. It is important for travelers to refer to the latest guidelines from the FCDO for the most up-to-date information and advice.

Warnings from other governments

In addition to the UK Foreign Office’s travel warnings, other governments, including European governments, the United States, and Australia, have also issued travel advisories related to the region. European governments have provided warnings against travel to Lebanon due to the potential dangers and risks associated with the conflict.

The US and Australia have issued travel advisories for their citizens, providing guidance on the risks and safety concerns in the region. Specific warnings for Lebanon highlight the rapidly changing situation and potential for disruptions and road closures.

Safety concerns in neighboring countries are also addressed in these advisories, emphasizing the need for caution and vigilance while traveling in the area.

Potential dangers and safety precautions

Traveling to areas near conflict zones poses potential dangers and risks that travelers should be aware of. The presence of conflict increases the risk of violence, including terrorism and political instability. Security at tourist sites may be heightened, but it is essential to follow any instructions or warnings from local authorities and security personnel.

Precautions should be taken, especially in public gatherings, where the potential for unrest or violence may be higher. Travelers are advised to stay informed about the current situation, regularly check for updates from reliable sources, and register with their respective embassies or consulates.

It is also important to follow general travel safety tips, such as avoiding unnecessary risks, being cautious of your surroundings, and staying in touch with family and friends.

Impact on travel plans and refunds

The ongoing conflict in the region has undoubtedly affected travel plans for many individuals. Cancellation policies and refunds vary depending on the airline, hotel, or travel agency’s terms and conditions.

It is important to review and understand the specific cancellation policies before booking. Travel insurance coverage should also be carefully reviewed to determine if any reimbursement or compensation is provided in the event of canceled or interrupted travel plans. For trips to Egypt, where the FCDO has not issued an “avoid all non-essential travel” advisory, travelers may not be eligible for a refund or able to claim money back from travel insurance if they choose to cancel.

Package holidays may have their own cancellation policies, and travelers should refer to the terms and conditions to determine refund eligibility or rebooking options.

Reassurances from local authorities

Despite the conflicts and risks in the region, local authorities and tourism boards have provided reassurances to tourists about the safety measures in place and the commitment to ensuring a safe and welcoming environment.

The Jordan Tourism Board, for example, emphasizes that Jordan is a safe destination that remains open to tourists. They express their commitment to the safety and well-being of all visitors and reassure potential travelers that Jordan’s borders are open and ready to share its extraordinary experiences with the world.

Türkiye has also shown its commitment to safety by implementing stringent security measures and maintaining the operational status of airlines and tourist hotspots unaffected by the conflict. These reassurances from local authorities aim to encourage tourists to visit and enjoy their experiences while taking necessary precautions.

If concerns about the current global situation are making you question the safety of traveling to Europe, this article provides essential insights into the safest countries to visit in 2024.

Note

The information provided in this article is current as if this article date. I strongly advise travelers to verify their current situation by consulting their respective embassies and to stay informed through up-to-date news sources for any potential travel advisory updates.

American citizens are recommended to register with the United States State Department to stay informed about current global events. Also, it’s important to regularly check in while traveling to keep abreast of any ongoing worldwide situations.


Hi, I’m Rikki

I’m a passionate author and blogger, sharing my thoughts and experiences on life and travel.

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