Lebanon Travel Advice & Safety

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The security situation in the region remains unpredictable and could deteriorate with little or no warning.

Political changes in the region and international events may prompt large demonstrations or violence. Planned and on-the-spot demonstrations can take place.

Anti-government protests occur. Protests may target key institutions and sites, including banks. Some can be large and escalate into violent clashes between protesters and security forces.

Authorities use various measures to break up crowds, including:

  • water cannons
  • tear gas 
  • live ammunition

These measures have resulted in injuries.

Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent, including the use of weapons. You could be caught in violence directed at others.

During civil unrest and times of heightened tensions:

  • avoid all crowds, protests and demonstrations
  • pay close attention to your personal security
  • monitor the media and other sources for news on planned and possible actions
  • avoid areas where violence has occurred or is likely to occur
  • plan your activities to avoid potential unrest on days of national significance
  • be prepared to change your travel plans in case of disruptions

If you’re in an area affected by clashes:

  • stay indoors and away from windows and balconies
  • follow the advice of local authorities

Stay indoors during celebratory gunfire, which has caused casualties, and often happens during and after political speeches, weddings, funerals and religious and new year holidays. 

If transport disruptions affect your travel plans, contact your airline, travel agent or insurer for help.

Leave Lebanon if you’re concerned about your safety.

More information:

Beirut

In times of civil unrest, avoid areas of Beirut where protests are known to occur.

In Beirut, protests sometimes close main highways. Burning of tyres to block main roads is common. Groups protest against:

  • government policies
  • the situation in Syria
  • the security environment
  • the deteriorating social and economic situation

Civil unrest can affect the highways between central Beirut and the international airport. Armed clashes have occurred in some areas of Beirut.

Southern suburbs (Dahiyeh region) of Beirut

Don’t go to the Dahiyeh region, including:

  • the area south of the Camille Chamoun Sports Stadium to the airport (south from Adnon El Hakim Road to Abbas El Mousawi Road). This includes the suburbs of Chiyah, Ghobeire, Haret Hreik, Bir el Abed, Borj el Barajne, Mraije, Roueiss, Lailake, Hay el Sellom, Tahouitit el Ghadir and Bir Hassan
  • east of the airport highway
  • west of the airport highway to El Akhtal El Saghir Road and south of the Coral Beach Hotel.

This area does not include the main airport highway (Hafez El Assad).

Security in the area is still unstable. You may be caught up in violent attacks between armed groups. Terrorist attacks may occur.

Palestinian refugee camps

Don’t visit Palestinian refugee camps in any part of Lebanon.

Extremist groups operate inside camps. The security situation is uncertain and could get worse without warning.

The Lebanese state has no formal security presence in the camps. Armed clashes between rival groups happen. Violent crime is common.

Also avoid the general vicinity around the camps when there’s heightened tension or armed clashes. Stray ammunition has caused casualties.

Tripoli and northern Lebanon

Don’t go to Tripoli’s Jabal Mohsen and Bab-al-Tabbaneh neighbourhoods. Violent clashes in the early stages of the Syrian conflict killed more than 200 people. The risk of civil unrest remains high and can turn violent.

In 2019, a lone wolf terrorist attack in Tripoli killed 4 members of the security service.

Lebanese authorities say extremists have taken refuge in northern Lebanon, including throughout the Akkar district.

North-eastern Beka’a Valley

Don’t go to the north-eastern Beka’a Valley region, extending east and north from Rayak. This includes:

  • Hermel-Baalbek region
  • the towns Arsal, El Qaa and Ras Baalbek

Clashes between Lebanese security forces and militants are possible.

Other parts of the Beka’a Valley

Take extra care in the Beka’a valley, south of Zahle and Rayak, where the security environment is uncertain.

In August 2016, a roadside bomb exploded in Zahle. It killed 2 people and injured many others.

Regions within 5km of the Syrian border

Don’t travel within 5km of the border with Syria, including:

  • north of the Halba-Qoubaiyat Road, northern Akkar
  • Arsal
  • Hermel Wadi Khaled
  • the Golan Heights
  • Shebaa Farms

The conflict in Syria has led to repeated violent incidents in these areas.

Southern Lebanon

Don’t travel to areas south of the city of Sidon (Saida). 

Daily military action is occurring and could escalate quickly. This could affect your ability to move to safety. There’s an uncertain security environment and there are also landmines and unexploded ordnance.

Avoid crowds and large gatherings. You could be caught up in violence directed at others.

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) maintains peacekeeping activities south of the Litani River.

Israeli forces are in the southern border town of Ghajar. There are still tensions in the surrounding region, including the Shebaa Farms, where military activities have taken place. Shelling has been reported.

Although the Lebanese Armed Forces and United Nations peacekeeping forces are present in southern Lebanon, the situation could change quickly.

You could be caught up in violence directed at others.

Avoid areas where military activity is ongoing. Be ready to leave at short notice.

Be extra careful in the city of Sidon (Saida) where there’s a history of violence between Lebanese armed forces and local militia.

Don’t visit the Palestinian refugee camp of Ein El-Hilweh. There are ongoing clashes between rival groups, including the use of heavy weapons and snipers. Many people have been killed or injured. Lebanese authorities have limited capacity to impose law and order.

Also avoid the general vicinity around the Ein El-Hilweh camp when there’s heightened tension or armed clashes. Stray ammunition has caused casualties.

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