Britain advises against all but essential travel to Lebanon

·1-min read
Travellers in airport (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)
Travellers in airport (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)

Britain has advised against all but essential travel to Lebanon in a new update issued on Tuesday.

The crisis-swept Middle Eastern country was recently plunged into a financial and economic meltdown described by the World Bank as one of the worst depressions in modern history.

The bleak situation has been compounded by spiralling Covid cases and a massive recent explosion at Beirut’s port that destroyed large parts of the city and killed more than 215 people.

"The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) now advises against all but essential travel to Lebanon, except for those areas to which the FCDO advises against all travel," it said in a statement.

Lebanon recorded 947 new coronavirus cases on Monday, with 5 people dying over the past 24 hours.

There has been a total of 8,582 virus-related deaths in the country and 652,735 cases.

Tourism, historically a major component of Lebanon‘s economy, has dramatically declined since late 2019.

Some two million tourists visited the country in 2018, figures show. But the numbers are believed to have dropped to as low as a few hundred thousand in 2020.

Lebanon‘s tourism minister recently unveiled a new slogan to attract travellers into the country, aiming to portray the precarity of life there as a point of pride. The phrase roughly translates as "I love you in your madness".

It comes after the British government lifted its advice against non-essential travel to 32 countries and territories last month.

In October, the UK also introduced a new system for international travel in which testing requirements were loosened for many fully vaccinated travellers and destinations were designated either “red” or “green”.

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