Lebanon travel guide
Fringed by golden beaches, peppered with World Heritage Sites and home to the Middle East's premier party city, Lebanon has all the hallmarks of a classic traveller's destination.
Yet the reality, alas, is not quite so rosy. Still recovering from a brutal civil war (1975-1990), the conflict in neighbouring Syria is spilling across the border and the Bekaa Valley remains a stronghold for the militant group Hezbollah. Suffice to say, cautious tourists have stayed away.
Nevertheless, for now, a fragile peace prevails in Lebanon, which extends a warm welcome to foreign visitors. Nowhere is this clearer than in the capital, Beirut, a friendly party town sandwiched between the Mediterranean Sea and the foothills of Mount Lebanon.
Characterised by its affable inhabitants, dramatic coastline and delicious cuisine, bustling Beirut sits at the crossroads between Europe and Arabia. Influences from east and west abound – it is not uncommon to hear the call to prayer competing with DJs in some of the livelier parts of town.
Although buildings still bear the scars of past conflicts, the city is a forward-thinking capital where the biggest danger nowadays seems to be the traffic – crossing the road can feel like an extreme sport.
Though small in size, Lebanon boasts five UNESCO World Heritage Sites including the city of Byblos, one of the oldest Phoenician ports, and the haunting remains of Baalbeck in the Hezbollah-run Bekaa Valley, one of the finest examples of Greco-Roman architecture in existence.
Other highlights including the magnificent cedar forests and Christian monasteries of the Holy Valley, as well as the ancient cities of Tyr and Tripoli, home to one of the oldest seaports in the world.
And if that's not enough, there's always skiing in Mount Lebanon. Granted, it might not be an obvious place to hit the slopes, but there are few places in this world that can offer sun, sand and skiing in one day. But then Lebanon is not your average destination.
10,452 sq km (4,036 sq miles).
5,988,153 (UN estimate 2016).
591.7 per sq km.
President Michel Aoun since 2016.
Prime Minister Najib Mikati since 2021.
Coronavirus travel health
Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Lebanon on the TravelHealthPro website
See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commercial flights are operating to and from Lebanon. Check with your travel company for the latest information.
Beirut International airport remains operational. All passengers are required to have their tickets with them when transferring to and from the airport. Some exemptions to COVID-19 restrictions are applied to aid workers. For further clarification, aid workers should contact their employer for advice.
See Entry requirements for more information on COVID-19 measures before departure and on arrival into Lebanon.
Entry and borders
See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Lebanon.
Returning to the UK
Travelling from and returning to the UK
If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting. If you will pass through a red list country, book your hotel quarantine package before travelling to the UK.
When you return, you must follow the rules for entering the UK.
You are responsible for organising any required COVID-19 test, in line with UK government testing requirements. You should contact local authorities for information on testing facilities.
Be prepared for your plans to change
No travel is risk-free during COVID. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.
If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.
Plan ahead and make sure you:
- can access money
- understand what your insurance will cover
- can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned
The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) is responsible for COVID-19 testing at the airport and will inform you by text if you tested positive on arrival. If you test positive you will be expected to self-isolate in your accommodation. The MOPH or hospital where you got tested will pass on your details to the local authorities, and you may get contacted by the local municipality and offered support, but this is not guaranteed. We would not expect unaccompanied minors to be treated any differently from others.
Measures within Lebanon
COVID-19 measures can change at short notice. Contact the Lebanese embassy for more information if you are not sure about COVID-19 measures in Lebanon.
From 17 December 2021 to 9 January 2022, anyone who has not had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination or who does not have proof of a negative PCR test performed in the preceding 48 hours will be subject to a curfew between 7pm and 6am. Some exemptions apply, including to some government workers and the diplomatic corps.
Entry to touristic institutions, restaurants and hotels is limited to individuals who have had at least one COVID-19 vaccination or who have evidence of a negative PCR result from within the previous 48 hours. Capacity at all establishments is limited to 50%. Masks should be worn at all times inside venues, except when sat down to consume food and drink.
Taxis and private cars should have no more than four people in them (including the driver). Buses are allowed to operate with a maximum capacity of 50%.
Fabric masks covering the mouth and nose must be worn when outside the home and in vehicles (unless travelling alone).
Lebanese authorities may issue fines, impose road blocks, or imprison those violating these measures for up to three years. You should comply with all measures introduced by the Lebanese authorities and obey the instructions of the security forces. These measures may be changed at short notice.
Keep up to date with information from your tour operator, transport or accommodation provider on the impact on any existing travel plans.
Hotels and private rentals are available. You should check that accommodation is open and receiving guests before booking, and request information on the measures being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and on their fuel situation. Many businesses have closed due to the economic crisis.
Healthcare in Lebanon
For contact details of English speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers. If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms you should self-isolate. You should call the Lebanese Ministry of Health Coronavirus Hotline on 1787 (from a local number) if you require further advice. The 24 hour number for those with COVID-19 who require hospitalisation is +961 (0) 1832 700. British nationals in Lebanon should comply with local restrictions and monitor local media for updates.
Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health.
COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Lebanon
We will update this page when the Government of Lebanon announces new information on the national vaccination programme. You can sign up to get email notifications when this page is updated.
The Lebanese national vaccination programme started in February 2021 and is using the Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines. The Government of Lebanon has stated that British nationals resident in Lebanon are eligible for vaccination if they choose to join the programme. The Lebanese authorities have issued a pre-registration form to register to receive the vaccine in Lebanon (you will need some assistance completing the form if you are a non-Arabic speaker). Booster vaccinations are now being rolled out. Private programmes run by employers may use other vaccines such as Sputnik V and Sinopharm in addition to Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca.
Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad.
If you’re a British national living in Lebanon, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider. Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status, should be available from local authorities.
For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.
The Lebanese authorities have put in place a number of measures to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The detailed measures are changing on a regular basis. The latest Lebanese Government decisions and guidance can be found here (in Arabic).
The security situation in Lebanon is volatile and can deteriorate quickly.
Violence between the security forces and protestors, between supporters of political groups and over scarce or subsidised resources is highly likely to occur, often without warning, in particular at existing flashpoints. These confrontations have previously resulted in large numbers of casualties. Security forces may use tear gas and rubber bullets during clashes.
There were heavy clashes in the areas of Tayouneh, Chiyah and Ain el Roumanneh, within Beirut on 14 October 2021. These clashes involved exchanges of live fire and resulted in fatalities and injuries. The situation remains tense, and there is the potential for further violence.
You should avoid large crowds and political gatherings. Weapons are common in Lebanon and groups such as Hizballah retain arms that are beyond state control. Arguments can quickly escalate into violence, including the use of weapons, typically firearms and bladed weapons. Serious escalation can happen with little warning. There have been several recent reports of firearms being used during arguments in bars. Celebratory gunfire into the air is common throughout Lebanon. If you find yourself in an area where there’s celebratory or other gunfire, take cover in a building and move away from windows.
As well as internal Lebanese issues, regional and international developments can have an impact on the local security situation. This includes tensions with Israel, which could escalate with little warning. Events in Syria and Iraq may also impact Lebanon. You are therefore advised to monitor the regional situation whilst in Lebanon.
In the event of widespread disturbances or a deterioration in the security situation, there may be limits to the assistance that the British Embassy Beirut can provide. Read further information and advice on how to deal with a crisis overseas. Make sure that you are content with your own and your family’s security arrangements and keep yourself up to date with developments, including by regularly monitoring this travel advice. Be prepared to “shelter in place” or hunker down for several days, should the security situation require it. This means having adequate essential supplies, such as food, water and medicine, at the place where you are staying. You should ensure you have correct and up-to-date travel documentation in case a sudden deterioration in the situation on the ground requires travel out of Lebanon. Do not rely on the FCDO being able to evacuate you in an emergency.
Many hospitals and other medical services are affected by fuel shortages. See Local Medical Care
Basic commodities (fuel, medicines, food) have become increasingly scarce due to the economic crisis. Make sure you have supplies of any medicines you need with you in Lebanon. The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription medication you should carry a medical certificate confirming that the medication has been prescribed for a medical condition.
Petrol can be difficult to access, with restrictions of supply at short notice. There are frequent, prolonged closures of fuel stations. You should plan ahead and ensure you have sufficient fuel in your car before travelling. Arguments at fuel stations have sometimes become violent and involved the use of weapons. You should always ensure that your vehicle is positioned to be able to leave a fuel queue quickly if tensions rise.
Diesel is increasingly difficult to access, leading to frequent unplanned closures of power generators. Lebanon’s power plants continue to produce only limited electricity for the national grid. This has led to prolonged power cuts across the country, with an impact on services, such as transport, internet, water and waste collection, and shops, cafes and restaurants. You should check before travelling to a business, hotel or restaurant in case they are closed due to fuel shortages. Have a torch to hand at night and know how you would leave your accommodation in the dark in case of emergency.
Beirut Rafik Hariri International Airport is sometimes affected by fuel shortages, which can cause air conditioning or lighting to be turned off in the terminal buildings. Fuel shortages may affect the reliability of taxis to and from the airport. You should pre-book and confirm prior to travel.
The economic situation may affect your ability to pay for goods and services. There is a very high rate of inflation. Banks and exchange houses can close for long periods during protests, and have been the target of attacks. While ATMs are generally stocked with Lebanese Pounds, there may be limits on daily withdrawals so check with your bank before travelling. It is very difficult to access US Dollars locally. Many companies no longer accept credit/debit cards so you should ensure that you have adequate cash.
There is a high level of tension in Lebanon due to the economic and political situation. Protests, which may become violent, can occur without warning. Protests have centred on the main cities of Beirut, Tripoli and Saida, but have occurred at various locations and may take place nationwide.
You should exercise a high degree of caution, monitor local media for developments and avoid areas where demonstrations may be held, or where there are large gatherings of people. Keep up to date with developments via this travel advice and local media, including:
TV: LBCI, New TV, NBN, Future News, OTV
Radio: Radio One 105.5 FM, Voice of Lebanon 93.3 FM, Radio Orient 88.3- 88.6 FM, Sawt El Ghad 97.1- 96.7 FM, BBC Arabic 93.1 FM
The government may restrict movements, including at short notice, to control the spread of coronavirus. For more detailed information see the coronavirus page.
Protests and roadblocks may mean that travel is restricted at short notice. Major roads in and out of Beirut and across the country, including the roads to and from Beirut Rafik Hariri International Airport, have become blocked at short notice. If you’re travelling to or from the airport, check your flight status before leaving and allow extra time for your journey. If roads from the airport are blocked, wait there until the authorities confirm access roads are open.
Palestinian refugee camps are volatile environments where the Lebanese state has limited capacity to impose law and order. There has been a long pattern of violent clashes in particular in Ein El Helweh camp near Saida in southern Lebanon.
There is a UN peacekeeping presence in the area south of the Litani River.
There is a military checkpoint located approximately 7km south of Tyre on the Naqoura-Tyre-Saida-Beirut highway. A pass from the Lebanese Armed Forces office in Saida is necessary to continue your journey further south towards the Israeli border. However, as the office is located in an area of Saida where we have specific security concerns, you should carefully consider whether your need for a pass is essential before you travel.
Land mines and other unexploded ordnance are present in Lebanon and are not always clearly marked. Use only well-travelled tracks and do not stray from their edges. Avoid remote abandoned properties. Use local guides and seek local knowledge if you are unsure.
The risk to tourists from petty or violent crime remains moderate - however crime has increased due to the declining economic situation. Incidents of theft, vehicle theft and robbery in particular have risen this year. Take sensible precautions to protect yourself and your belongings. Consider your route and vary daily routines. Conceal expensive looking jewellery which could draw unwanted attention. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and be aware of your surroundings when using ATMs.
There has been an increase in reported incidents of sexual harassment and assault in public areas, including whilst walking in Beirut. Consider whether it is safe to walk alone, particularly in less busy areas. Due to the lack of electricity, working street lights are uncommon so streets are very dark at night. You should consider taking a torch with you when you are out of the house at night and ensure your phone is charged in case of an emergency.
There have been incidents of armed robberies and physical attacks against passengers in shared taxis (known locally as service taxis) with passengers being attacked by either the driver or other passengers. Don’t use shared taxis or taxis hailed on the street. Only use taxis from recognised companies. Hotels can advise on firms with cars that are recognised as being safe and well-maintained.
In December 2017, the Lebanese Interior Minister advised people in Lebanon not to use Uber taxis.
Criminal gangs operate in parts of the Beqaa Valley, especially northern Beqaa, involved in drug cultivation and smuggling. Car theft gangs are prevalent and can steal vehicles by force of arms, particularly along sections of the international highway towards Baalbek. Vehicle thefts have grown significantly and are often targeted by type. Other armed crimes, such as robbery and kidnap, can occur in these areas. There are also frequent armed clashes between gangs, and operations by the security forces.
You can report suspicious activity to the police by dialling 112. If you or another British citizen become the victim of crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest British embassy or consulate. You can find more information on how we can support you in our Support for British Nationals Abroad guide.
Roads are subject to closure without notice.
You must hold either an International Driving Permit (IDP), which must be certified by the Lebanese authorities on arrival, or a temporary local licence to drive in Lebanon. Temporary local licences are likely to be more time consuming and expensive than an IDP.
Driving standards are poor and the accident rate is high. Traffic lights are often switched off and not always observed. It may be better to hire a car with a driver if you’re inexperienced. You must wear a seat belt (if fitted). Avoid travelling at night outside towns if possible. Vehicles with diesel engines are banned
Carry ID with you at all times and be prepared to stop at check points to show your papers. The army have set up check points on major and minor roads.
Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Lebanon. Islamist extremist groups will seek to target the Lebanese state, security services, and civilians, and have the intent to target foreigners inside Lebanon.
Attacks could take place in areas visited by foreigners, in Beirut and elsewhere, including hotels, restaurants and bars, markets, tourist and religious sites, large outdoor events, western-style shopping centres and supermarket chains. You should be particularly vigilant in these areas and follow any specific advice of the local security authorities.
There is also currently a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals specifically, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria.
Extremist groups have in particular been known to operate within the city of Tripoli, Palestinian refugee camps and in areas close to the Syrian border - including around Hermel and Aarsal.
Politically motivated terrorist attacks also remain likely. A number of such attacks have taken place in the southern suburbs of Beirut.
Recent terrorist-related incidents include:
- on 18 August 2020, following the arrest of an individual suspected of preparing to conduct terrorist attacks in Beirut, there were police and military casualties in two security incidents linked to the disruption of further terrorist cells.
- on 21 August 2020, 3 municipal police officers were shot and killed in Kaftoun, Koura in the north of the country.
- Subsequently, a series of counter-terrorism operations were conducted in the North of Lebanon until 26 September 2020, resulting in a number of deaths and arrests of suspected terrorists. During one of these arrest operations, which took place in Beddawi (also Beddaoui) close to Tripoli, 4 members of the Lebanese Armed Forces were killed. A further two LAF soldiers were killed when their check point was attacked in Arman. Investigations continue.
- on 3 June 2019, a suspected militant killed 2 Lebanese army soldiers and one Lebanese policeman in Tripoli. The militant himself died in the subsequent operation by the Lebanese security agencies.
Lebanese security authorities are at a high state of alert and are conducting security operations across Lebanon. You should be vigilant at all times and follow the advice of the Lebanese authorities. Avoid large crowds, demonstrations, political gatherings and the use of shared public transport.
If you notice or suspect a security incident is underway, you should immediately leave the area. Suspects have detonated explosions to avoid arrest. Keep clear of affected areas in the immediate aftermath of any attacks. Bystanders have been killed in a number of terrorist attacks in recent years.
Monitor media reports and keep up to date with travel advice. Remain alert to both regional tensions given Lebanon’s links and proximity to Syria, and to the potential for sectarian attacks.
There’s a threat of kidnapping in Lebanon. The Lebanese authorities have warned that foreigners, including westerners could be targeted by kidnappers and other militant groups. Criminal kidnappings have occurred in the Beqaa Valley, the Syrian border regions and Beirut, but could take place anywhere in Lebanon.
Terrorist kidnappings are also possible and Daesh and other terrorist groups view those engaged in humanitarian aid work or journalism as legitimate targets.
The long-standing policy of the British Government is not to make substantive concessions to hostage takers. The British Government considers that paying ransoms and releasing prisoners builds the capability of terrorist groups and finances their activities. This can, in turn, increase the risk of further hostage-taking. The Terrorism Act (2000) makes payments to terrorists illegal.
Lebanon’s people are diverse, with many different Muslim and Christian sects represented. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure they do not offend, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas.
In many areas you will find dress codes more relaxed than in other countries of the region, but you should still dress modestly when visiting religious sites and when it’s clear that local people expect it.
Possession, use and trafficking of illegal drugs including small quantities are all serious offences in Lebanon. You can expect a prison sentence if you are caught.
Photography should be limited to tourist sites. Photographing military sites may result in your arrest. Flying drone cameras without permission is illegal.
The Lebanese Criminal Code includes a general provision concerning ‘every sexual act against nature’. Lebanese courts consider that this provision includes homosexuality. A criminal offence under this provision is punishable by a prison sentence of up to a year. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.
Child abduction and travel bans
One of the most common requests for consular assistance in Lebanon is from British mothers seeking help in overturning travel bans placed on their children or themselves by their fathers or husbands. Lebanese family law is very different from UK law and particular care is needed if child custody becomes an issue.
If you have concerns about child custody you should seek advice before travelling to Lebanon about ‘travel bans’ that can be imposed by male heads of family. Even if you or your child holds a British passport you may be subject to Lebanese laws and regulations.
Any child travelling from Lebanon without their father (even if the mother is accompanying them) may need to provide proof that permission to travel has been given by the child’s father.
If you’re a British national involved in international parental child abductions or custody disputes, you should contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for consular assistance. This leaflet on International Parental Child Abduction includes information on how the FCDO can help, and contact details. The FCDO strongly advises against attempting to remove your child yourself, as this may be considered abduction (or ‘re-abduction’). This may be illegal and can put your child at risk.
This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.
The authorities in Lebanon set and enforce entry rules. For further information contact the Lebanese Embassy in the country or territory that you are currently in. You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)
Entry to Lebanon
Beirut’s Rafik Hariri international airport is open and there are direct and indirect commercial flights to and from the UK operating daily. There are currently restrictions on passenger capacity as part of COVID-19 mitigation measures.
All passengers arriving in Lebanon must register on the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) platform to obtain a MOPH pass. Children under the age of 12 and UNIFIL will be exempt from 25 December 2021.
If you are arriving in Lebanon on or before 24 December 2021:
- you must have a negative PCR result issued within 48 hours prior to arrival in Lebanon. Children under 12 years old are exempt
You should upload the PCR result to the MOPH platform, which will generate a unique QR code that will be sent via text message. The QR code will be checked upon arrival at Beirut airport.
Passengers who can prove that one of the following criteria applies to them are exempt from taking a pre-departure PCR test, provided that they upload certificates of official documentation as proof in order to obtain a MOPH pass:
- that they have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine (or one complete dose, if the vaccine is made up of only one dose) at least 2 weeks before departure to Lebanon, or
- that they have had and recovered from COVID-19 within 90 days prior to travel, or
- that they have travelled out of Lebanon and returned within one week
If you are arriving on or after 25 December 2021:
- All passengers travelling to Lebanon (apart from children under 12 years old) must have a negative PCR result from a test conducted within the 48 hours before boarding in the country of origin, regardless of vaccination status.
- The result should be uploaded to the MOPH platform, which will generate a unique QR code that will be sent via text message. The QR code will be checked on arrival at Beirut airport.
- Passengers who can prove that they have travelled out of Lebanon and returned within one week are exempt from taking a pre-departure PCR test provided they upload certificates and official documentation to the MOPH website to obtain a MOPH pass.
You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.
You should ensure you make all necessary preparations prior to travelling to Lebanon. These measures change frequently so you should check details regularly.
Any passenger who shows symptoms of illness including COVID-19 will not be allowed to board the aircraft.
Demonstrating your COVID-19 status
The Lebanese Directorate General of Civil Aviation have said that they will accept any official document that confirms vaccination status. You should check with your airline what proof is required.
Lebanon will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.
Self-isolation requirements and tests after arrival
All passengers, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to take a PCR test at Beirut International Airport on arrival, which is provided at the airline’s expense until 10 January 2022. Exemptions apply to children under the age of 12, members of UNIFIL and cabin crew arriving for a period of less than 48 hours and who will remain quarantined.
Passengers should remain in self-isolation until they receive their test result. It is currently taking around 48 hours to get results. If the result is negative, you will be released from self-isolation. If the result is positive, you must immediately call the COVID-19 hotline on 1787 unless contacted by the MoPH.
From 10 January 2022, the payment method for the PCR test on arrival will change. All passengers (apart from children under the age of 12 and members of UNIFIL) must pay $30 in advance through one of two options:
By a credit card through the MOPH platform. This payment will allow you to obtain the MOPH pass required for arrival into Lebanon.
By Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD) at an IATA Travel and Tourism Agency or at the airline’s sales office. Passengers will receive an EMD which should be produced to MOPH officials on arrival.
The Lebanese government is keeping these measures under review and they may change at short notice. You must comply with any amended regulations for testing and self-isolation. You should check with your airline and the Embassy of Lebanon in the country you are travelling from before travel.
There are no testing or additional COVID-19 related procedures required for transiting travellers. Passengers with a short transit time will be allowed to proceed directly to their gate, those with a longer transit time will have to wait at a designated gate where a cafeteria is available.
Regular entry requirements
British citizens can normally apply for a free single entry tourist or family visit visa on arrival. British Overseas Citizens and British Protected Persons will need to get a visa before travelling to Lebanon. Persons of Palestinian origin may also require a visa before travelling, or may be required to carry additional documentation with them when travelling. Entry requirements are subject to change, so you should check with the Lebanese Embassy before you travel.
Overstaying without the proper authority is a serious matter. You may be refused permission to leave until a fine has been paid.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 3 months from the date of entry into Lebanon.
UK Emergency Travel Documents
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, transit and exit from Lebanon. You can find more information on how to get an ETD on gov.uk.
If your passport is lost or stolen during your stay in Lebanon and you require an ETD to leave, you will need to visit the Public Prosecution in Adlieh building (central Beirut) to report the loss or theft. Once the police report is finalized, you will need to obtain an Exit visa prior to your departure in order to leave the country, either from the General Security’s Department of Passport and Immigration or from the General Security Office at the airport. You will need to show the police report and the ETD. You should factor the time this will take into any new travel plans.
Previous travel to Israel
If your passport contains an Israeli stamp you may be refused entry to Lebanon even if you hold a valid Lebanese visa.
Lebanese Immigration Authorities check all visitors’ names on arrival against a database of those wanted for, or convicted of, offences in Lebanon. If a name matches against an entry on the database the individual may be detained (or on occasion allowed entry upon surrender of their passport) until they can prove that the record does not relate to them. It’s often possible to do so by producing a copy of a birth certificate or other official documentation that allows parents’ names to be checked against the database. You should consider carrying this kind of supporting documentation.
Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Lebanon on the TravelHealthPro website
See the healthcare information in the Coronavirus section for information on what to do if you think you have coronavirus while in Lebanon.
At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.
General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.
The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).
Local medical care
The availability and quality of medical treatment available in Lebanon is being affected by the economic crisis and the fuel shortages. For example, air conditioning and lighting may be turned off, non-essential medical treatment may be cancelled and hospitals may refuse to take patients if they are unable to treat them. The provision of emergency and life-saving care, including life support care, could be severely impacted.
Medical care in Lebanon can be expensive and most medical providers and hospitals are insisting on significant cash deposits before admitting patients, including in emergency situations. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
Doctors are generally well qualified, though nursing standards vary. The economic crisis has caused a number of health care professionals to leave the country, this may affect staffing levels. The majority of medical staff speak French and English.
Medical supplies are increasingly hard to find in country. You should therefore bring any medicines you need with you to Lebanon. The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription medication you should carry a medical certificate confirming that the medication has been prescribed for a medical condition.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 112 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment. A list of medical facilities is available here.
Lebanon is in an earthquake zone, but there have been no damaging tremors in recent years. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency has advice about what to do before, during and after an earthquake.
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).
Foreign travel checklist
Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.
The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.
When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.
Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.
Refunds and cancellations
If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.
For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Registering your travel details with us
We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.
Previous versions of FCDO travel advice
If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send us a request.
If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.