With the atrocious Bastille Day attack in Nice last week and the terrorist attack at Istanbul Ataturk Airport last month, it seems increasingly difficult to select a truly safe holiday destination. In truth, the only thing that is certain is that nowhere is risk free. However, you can make a more informed choice about your next holiday destination and help safeguard you and your family’s safety by knowing what the latest official travel advice is.
Higher Travel Risks of 2016
Tourists used to flock to the shores of the Red Sea, but unfortunately Egypt is no longer the popular go-to sunshine destination that it used to be due to local unrest and risk of terrorism.
FCO report The FCO advises against travel to North Sinai, and have limited all but essential travel to South Sinai, the Nile Valley and the Nile Delta. The tourist area of Sharm el Sheik is not included in these restrictions, however security is increased and all UK airlines have currently cancelled all flights to and from Sharm el Sheik. Terrorist attacks and violence against foreigners is seen in this country; however the tourist areas have not been labelled as unsafe. Read also: Safety and Security in EgyptTurkey
The attack on Istanbul Ataturk Airport and the attempted coup over the weekend of 16-17th
July has underlined why Turkey is currently labelled as a ‘high threat of terrorism’ location and the security environment ‘remains potentially volatile’. Although travel here will undoubtedly be even cheaper in 2016, the numerous terrorist attacks and current unrest will doubtless take their toll on the popularity of Turkey as a holiday destination.
FCO report The FCO advise against travel within 10km of the border with Syria and the threat of terrorism remains high. There are restrictions in other areas so check the FCO website for updates. Take extra care in public places when holidaying here. Tunisia
Although once a very popular spot for tourists, terrorist attacks have claimed the lives of British nationals and have cut off the flow of tourism to this country.
FCO report Tunisia is currently in a state of emergency, and the threat of terrorism is high. An attack in June of 2015 on a popular tourist beach in Sousse caused the deaths of 30 British nationals, and it is stated that the likelihood of further attacks remains high. There have been further suicide areas of Tunisia (check current FCO advice) and advise against all but essential travel to the rest of the country.
Safest Countries According to FCO
According to the FCO, the only country with a ‘low’ risk is Switzerland. The following are countries labelled as having only an ‘underlying’ risk:
How to Minimize Risk
How can you try to ensure you have a safe holiday? Check out the FCO’s Know Before you Go webpages. Here are some of the FCO’s recommendations:
- Be alert in public areas and popular tourist areas
- Look out for anyone or anything that seems suspicious, and immediately inform local police
- Keep family or friends informed of your whereabouts and when you plan to return
- Regularly check the FCO travel advice for the country you are visiting and better still, subscribe to the email alerts
- Keep your mobile charged and with you at all times and programme in emergency numbers.
- Be discreet on social media about your travel plans
- Identify the location of key places that you may need in an emergency, such as police stations, hospitals etc.,
- Don’t travel without Insurance.
Read also: Do Not Panic: What to Do if You Become a Crime Victim Abroad
Although the threat of terrorist attacks is very real in some locations, by keeping up to date with current information regarding travel, you are on your way to having a safe and relaxing holiday this year. Remember to select the right travel insurance policy before you go, so you are covered for unforeseen mishaps. Take a look at Globelink’s Comprehensive and Annual Multi Trip Policies to review our cover for Travel Disruption and Force Majeure cover.
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