Travel warnings - is your holiday destination considered safe or at risk this year?

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 24 April, 2018, 10:43

You may have seen reports that holidays to Tunisia and Egypt are back on the menu for British tourists this summer.

But what is the government advice for travel to the regions as well as other tourist destinations such as Russia, where the World Cup will be held this summer, or Mexico, where escalating drugs cartel violence has rocked the holiday hotspot of Cancun?

Tunisia

Thirty-eight people lost their lives when a gunman opened fire on tourists in Port El Kantaoui, just north of Sousse on 26 June 2015. Thirty of those killed were British tourists. This led to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to advise against all travel to the region.

It has since been lifted, but tourists are still advised against travelling to a few of the regions - mainly close to the border with Libya.

Tourist destinations such as Sousse, Tunis and Hammamet are all now available to travel.

FCO confirm that while “the Tunisian government has improved protective security in major cities and tourist resorts,” the warning still stands of being “vigilant at all times”.

Mexico

Mexico is currently experiencing the worst crime wave it's seen in a decade following a string of violent attacks linked to drug cartels.

Holiday hotspot Cancun recently experienced 14 deaths and five injuries in a 36-hour period. More than 100 people have now been killed in the popular beach resort since the start of 2018.

In February, an explosive device detonated on a tourist ferry operating between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel, Quintana Roo. The explosion injured 20 people, including tourists.

In March, local authorities found an undetonated device on another ferry operating on the same route.

US authorities have issued a "Level 2" advisory warning travellers to "exercise increased caution", adding "violent crime such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery is widespread".

Egypt

Egypt continues to attracts huge numbers of tourists, in spite of the UK’s ongoing ban on commercial flights in and out of the Red Sea resort of Sharm el Sheikh.

Flights were halted after a Russian passenger plane flying from Sharm el Sheikh to St Petersburg crashed over the Sinai Desert in 2015, killing all 224 passengers and crew on board.

Currently the Foreign Office advises against all travel to the northern Sinai peninsula, and all-but-essential travel to the southern section. The current statement on the Foreign Office website is: "We advise against all but essential travel by air to or from Sharm el Sheikh."

Russia

As Russia prepares to host the World Cup from 14 June to 15 July, many Britons are wondering if it's safe to visit.

There have been safety concerns after the Salisbury poisoning, and a recent BBC documentary, titled ‘Russia’s Hooligan Army’, showed groups of football hooligans saying British football fans are “100 per cent guaranteed” to be a target of violence.

“We do need to be very, very careful for British fans who are travelling there that they are not in any way caught up in the politics of this," said Tom Tugendhat, who chairs the foreign affairs select committee. “I’m afraid the danger of Russia responding to British fans for actions taken by their government is all too real.”

FIFA President Gianni Infantino doesn't share this opinion. "Of course it is safe to go to Russia,” said Infantino. “And it will be even safer to go to Russia during the World Cup... the preparations in terms of security for the World Cup are beyond any other event."

Following the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, The FCO updated its travel advice for British travellers and issued a warning to British nationals travelling to Russia.

In a statement, the FCO said: "While the British Embassy in Moscow is not aware of any increased difficulties for British people travelling in Russia at this time, you should follow the security and political situation closely and keep up to date with this travel advice”.

Anywhere else to think about?

According to the UK Foreign Office (FO), after Turkey and Ukraine, France is European country deemed most at risk of terror attacks.

The FO also warned that terror attacks are "very likely" in Germany and Belgium.

10 European countries impacted most by terrorism

Turkey - Global Terrorism Index score: 7.519

Ukraine - 6.557

France - 5.964

UK - 5.102

Germany - 4.917

Belgium - 4.656

Greece - 4.139

Sweden - 3.756

Ireland - 3.141

Italy - 2.75

Countries where terrorists are 'very likely' to carry out attacks (FO)

Australia

Belgium

France

Germany

Indonesia

India

Kenya

Malaysia

Maldives

Philippines

Thailand

USA

The following destinations have the highest terror risk in the world:

Iraq Afghanistan Nigeria Syria Pakistan Yemen Somalia India Turkey Libya