UK updates Lebanon travel warning

As of Tuesday, the UK’s travel advice to Lebanon has been updated. The whole of Lebanon is now green, marking a positive development. In November 2021, the Foreign Office recommended against all travel to areas of Lebanon except for those areas to which all travel is forbidden.

The World Bank has described Lebanon’s economic crisis as one of the worst in modern history, without a president or fully empowered government.

Since the financial collapse became apparent in 2019, vast numbers of people have been driven into poverty, and there have been severe shortages of necessities such as clean water, electricity, and medicines. The destruction of Beirut port in 2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic have worsened the situation.

The UK government still advises against all travel to Palestinian refugee camps within 5 km of the Syrian border in north-east Lebanon and the Hermel region. The warning also urges visitors to avoid all but essential travel to Beirut’s southern suburbs— where Hezbollah, an Iran-backed armed group and the political party controls parts of the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon’s second city of Tripoli, the deep south near Israel, and a few other locations— as well as parts of the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon’s second city of Tripoli, and the deep south near Israel.

Violent clashes between authorities and dissidents, between supporters of political factions over limited or subsidized resources, are very likely to occur without warning particularly at key locations, the report warns. These clashes have previously resulted in large numbers of casualties, it says.

According to the document, weapons are prevalent in Lebanon, and Hezbollah and other groups maintain weapons outside of state control, which could imply that the British embassy in Beirut would be unable to provide as much support if the security situation worsened.