Foreign travel advice

Lebanon

Important COVID-19 Travel

Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not travel, including abroad, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. It is illegal to travel abroad for holidays and other leisure purposes.

Check the rules that apply to you in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

If you intend to travel to the UK from abroad, including UK nationals returning home, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival.

Before you return to the UK you must provide your journey and contact details. You must self-isolate when you enter the UK from any foreign country except Ireland, unless you have a valid exemption.

When you enter England from abroad (except Ireland), you must follow the new requirements for quarantining and taking additional COVID-19 tests. For those travelling from a country on the banned travel list you will be required to quarantine in a hotel. Different rules apply for arrivals into England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

If you are legally permitted to travel abroad, check our advice on your country of destination. Some other countries have closed borders, and may further restrict movement or bring in new rules including testing requirements with little warning.

Summary

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The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advise against all travel to:

  • Palestinian refugee camps
  • within 5km of the border with Syria
  • the Hermel Area, including the towns of Arsal, Ras Baalbek, Qaa, Laboué and Nahlé

The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to:

  • the whole of Lebanon based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks

In addition, the FCDO advises against all but essential travel on security grounds to:

  • southern suburbs of Beirut defined as: south of the sports stadium and the Adnan Al Hakim road which heads west from the stadium to the Beirut-Saida (Sidon) road - down to the airport. Including the neighbourhoods of Bir Hassan, Ghobeiry, Chuya, Haret Hraik, Burj Al Brajne, Mraije, Er Rouais and Laylake. But excluding the main airport highway, the Beirut-Saida road and west of there to the coast, and the area between the airport highway and the coast south of Abbas El Mousawi Road, including the Golf Club of Lebanon
  • all other areas of Akkar district between 5km from the Syrian border and the Aabdeh, Halba and Qoubaiyat highway
  • the city of Tripoli
  • the Riyak-Baalbek highway, the areas around it and towns along it, including Baalbek, and also the area East of the highway up to 5km from the Syrian border and South of Nahlé town
  • the towns of Rachaiya, Hasbaiya, and Khiam in the Beqaa Valley, and the area between these towns up to 5 km from the Syrian border
  • within 500m of the Ain el Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in Saida
  • south of the Litani River except the main Naqoura-Tyre-Saida-Beirut highway and areas to the west of it.

Travel to Lebanon is subject to entry restrictions

  • All travellers to Lebanon must complete a Health Declaration Form online
  • You must provide evidence of a negative PCR test taken at an approved laboratory at check-in for travel to Lebanon
  • You will be required to take a further PCR test at Beirut International Airport upon arrival (which is provided at the airline’s expense) and then to quarantine for 72 hours
  • You will also be required to download and activate the “Covid Leb Track” mobile application and present it to the authorities at the time of your PCR test

See Entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel.

Preparing for your return journey to the UK

If you’re returning to the UK from overseas, you will need to:

If your return journey to the UK transits another country, you should check whether it is subject to a travel ban or any other additional requirements. If so, contact your travel provider.

From Monday 11 January 2021, all travellers to Lebanon will be required to take a PCR test at Beirut International Airport upon arrival (which is provided at the airline’s expense) and then to quarantine for 3 days. If you arrive before Wednesday 27 January 2021 you must quarantine at a Government of Lebanon approved hotel. You must have a prepaid booking at one of these hotels in order to board your flight to Lebanon. See further details here. From Wednesday 27 January 2021 visitors no longer need to quarantine in approved hotels. See Entry requirements.

Lebanon has declared a total curfew which it will lift gradually to allow more businesses to operate. Movement is generally prohibited – you must not leave your accommodation. All hospitality businesses and public institutions will close and banks are operating a greatly-reduced service. There are some exemptions for essential work and you can apply by mobile phone or internet to leave your accommodation to undertake certain activities such as medical appointments, chemists and food shopping. Food delivery services are operating, including in the evenings. See Coronavirus

There are ongoing security operations in Baalbek and the surrounding areas following clashes between rival criminal gangs, and instances of armed carjacking have increased in the area. See Safety and security.

On 4 August 2020 a large explosion occurred in the port area of Beirut causing widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure in the city and surrounding areas.

Damage and the ongoing situation at the port and in areas close to the port remains an ongoing hazard and could pose a risk to your personal safety. You should exercise caution in the area, stay away from collapsed buildings, monitor the local news and follow the advice of the local authorities.

The British Embassy in Beirut has been informed by the Lebanese authorities that, exceptionally given the current situation, British nationals travelling to the UK will be permitted to depart Lebanon on an expired passport, without requiring an emergency travel document. Before travelling you should confirm with your airline that they will accept this. If you are travelling to, or transiting, another country then you will need to ensure that your passport will also be accepted there.

If you’re in Beirut and need urgent consular assistance, call +961 (0)1 960800. If you’re in the UK and worried about a British national in Beirut, call the FCDO in London on 020 7008 5000.

Check our advice on foreign travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and sign up for email alerts for this travel advice.

If you’re planning travel to Lebanon, find out what you need to know about coronavirus there in the Coronavirus section.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.

For information about COVID-19 vaccines, see the Coronavirus page.

Protests against the political and economic situation in Lebanon, which began in October 2019, are continuing. The protests have centred on Beirut and Tripoli, but have occurred at various locations nationwide, including in the Beqaa Valley and Saida, often with little notice. Violent confrontations between protesters, security forces and supporters of political groups have occurred across the country, often resulting in injuries to protestors and security forces. On 17 October, on the one year anniversary of the 2019 anti-government uprising, there were protests across Beirut. These were largely peaceful though there were minor clashes between security forces and protestors. You should avoid protests, remain vigilant and follow the advice of the local authorities.

As a result of protests, major roads (including to and from Beirut airport) have been blocked, banks and businesses have closed See Political situation

Crime, including bag theft, property crime and sexual harassment in public spaces, has increased as a result of the economic decline in Lebanon. This includes in Beirut. See Safety and security.

A conflict with Israel could spark with little warning and lead to a rapid escalation in violence. There have been exchanges between Hizballah and the Israeli Defence Force across the Blue Line in the South of Lebanon. This has included cross-border shelling. The most recent such incident took place on 27 July 2020 and there remains a risk of a further escalation. See Security situation

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Lebanon. You should be vigilant at all times, avoid crowds and crowded places and follow the advice of the Lebanese authorities. Previous attacks have targeted the security forces, as well as locations where Western visitors may congregate. There have been large scale counter-terrorism operations in recent months in North Lebanon. You should follow the advice of the local authorities, and check local news and this travel advice regularly. See Terrorism

There’s a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation. Additional security measures have been in place on flights departing from Lebanon to the UK since March 2017. You should co-operate fully with security officials.

Groups within Lebanon, including Hizballah, are proscribed under the Terrorism Act 2000 and the Terrorist Asset-Freezing Act 2010. Offences committed under the act – including funding and supporting proscribed organisations – may be liable to prosecution in the UK.

There are unexploded ordnance and land mines in many places. You should avoid travelling away from established paths, especially when hiking. This is particularly a concern in southern Lebanon. See Local travel

You can contact the emergency services by calling 112.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. Consular support is severely limited in parts of Lebanon where we advise against all travel and limited where we advise against all but essential travel.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.