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.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides advice about risks of travel to help British nationals make informed decisions. Find out more about FCDO travel advice.
Areas where FCDO advises against travel
Your travel insurance could be invalidated if you travel against FCDO advice. Consular support is also severely limited where FCDO advises against travel.
FCDO advises against all travel to Lebanon. If you are currently in Lebanon we encourage you to leave now while commercial options remain available.
For further information on why we advise against travel, see the Conflict in neighbouring Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Regional risks.
Register your presence
If you are a British National in Lebanon, please register your presence which includes recording your up to date contact information. You should fill in this form for every member of your family or group who is a British national. Your registration will allow us to share any updates. When completing the form, if you have problems entering your telephone number, please try using a different browser or device. You could also try replacing ‘+’ for the country code with ‘00’.
Departure from Lebanon
Events in Lebanon are fast moving. The situation has potential to deteriorate quickly and with no warning.
Commercial routes out of Lebanon could be severely disrupted or cancelled at short notice and roads across the country could be closed. If you are currently in Lebanon, we encourage you to leave now while commercial options remain available.
Travel within or out of Lebanon is at your own risk. The FCDO cannot tell you whether it is safe to travel to any departure point within Lebanon. However, see safety and security for information on known security risks in Lebanon and advice on how to keep yourself safe.
Check our travel advice for any neighbouring country that you are planning to travel to or through.
In the event of deterioration in the political or security situation, the British embassy may be increasingly limited in the assistance that it can provide. Do not rely on FCDO being able to evacuate you in an emergency.
Read FCDO advice on what to do if you’re affected by a crisis abroad and how to prepare.
If you cannot leave Lebanon
You should have a personal emergency plan that does not rely on the UK government and be prepared in case you need to leave quickly. However, if you cannot leave Lebanon, you should shelter in place if you judge it necessary and safe to do so.
See safety and security and regional risks for information on known security risks in Lebanon and advice on how to keep yourself safe. You should still register your presence to receive updates and sign up to get email notifications when this travel advice is updated.
Conflict in neighbouring Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs)
FCDO advises against all travel to Lebanon due to risks associated with the conflict between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. There are ongoing mortar and artillery exchanges and airstrikes in South Lebanon, on the boundary with Israel. Tensions are high and events could escalate with little warning, which could affect or limit exit routes out of Lebanon.
There is also a risk of civil unrest. There have been large protests outside embassies, including outside the US and French embassies on 17 October. Further protests are expected. British nationals should exercise caution and avoid areas where demonstrations may be held.
The embassy is continuing with essential work including services to British nationals.
Help and support in Lebanon
You can contact the emergency services by calling 112.
If you need urgent help (for example, you’ve been attacked, arrested or someone has died), call +961 (0)1 960 800.
If you’re in Lebanon and you need advice which is not covered by reading our travel advice, you can contact FCDO online.
While 24-hour consular assistance is available by phone or online, in-person consular support is severely limited in parts of Lebanon where we advise against all travel and limited where we advise against all but essential travel.
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.
If you choose to travel, research your destinations and get appropriate travel insurance. Insurance should cover your itinerary, planned activities and expenses in an emergency.
This advice reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.
The authorities in Lebanon set and enforce entry rules. If you’re not sure how these requirements apply to you, contact the Lebanese Embassy in the UK.
There are no COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements for travellers entering Lebanon.
Passport validity requirements
Your passport should be valid for at least 3 months from the date you enter Lebanon.
Check with your travel provider that your passport and other travel documents meet requirements. Renew your passport if you need to.
You will be denied entry if you do not have a valid travel document, or try to use a passport that has been reported lost or stolen.
Checks at border control
If your passport contains an Israeli stamp, you may be refused entry to Lebanon even if you hold a valid Lebanese visa.
British citizens can normally apply for a free single-entry tourist or family visit visa on arrival at Beirut airport. A tourist visa is valid for one month from the date of entry. Travellers can extend their visa for up to three months at the General Security offices.
British citizens can also obtain a visa from the Lebanese Embassy in London. These may be valid for a different time period. Travellers should make sure they understand their visa validity to avoid any penalties for overstaying.
Travellers overstaying their visa may have to pay a fine in the local currency at the airport (please note, US dollars will not be accepted). This should be paid at departures before security procedures.
Persons of Palestinian origin may also need a visa before travelling, or to carry additional documentation with them when travelling.
Entry requirements may change at short notice. Check with the Lebanese Embassy in the UK before you travel.
Name checks against offender database
Lebanese immigration authorities check all visitors’ names on arrival against a database of those wanted for, or convicted of, offences in Lebanon. If your name matches an entry on the database, you may be detained (or occasionally allowed entry by surrendering your passport) until they can prove that the record does not relate to you. You might be able to do this by producing a copy of a birth certificate or other official documentation that allows parents’ names to be checked against the database. Consider carrying this kind of supporting documentation.
At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the vaccinations and certificates you need in TravelHealthPro’s Lebanon guide.
There is a high threat of terrorist attack globally affecting UK interests and British nationals, including from groups and individuals who view the UK and British nationals as targets. You should remain vigilant.
UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out how to reduce your risk from terrorism while abroad.
Terrorism in Lebanon
Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Lebanon.
Islamist terrorist groups seek to target the Lebanese state, security services, and civilians, and intend to target foreigners in Lebanon. Groups within Lebanon, including Hizballah, are proscribed under the Terrorism Act 2000 and the Counter Terrorism (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. Offences committed under the act – including funding and supporting proscribed organisations – may be liable to prosecution in the UK.
Terrorist groups have particularly operated in:
- Palestinian refugee camps
- areas close to the Syrian border, including around Hermel and Aarsal
- Southern suburbs of Beirut
Recent terrorist-related incidents include:
- in 2022, the police uncovered a terrorist network who were planning 3 simultaneous attacks in the southern suburbs of Beirut
- in 2021, the Lebanese Armed Forces dismantled a suspected ISIS cell accused of killing of a retired intelligence officer planning further attacks
- in 2020, following the arrest of an individual suspected of preparing to conduct terrorist attacks in Beirut, there were police and military casualties in 2 security incidents linked to the disruption of further terrorist cells
- in 2020, 3 municipal police officers were shot and killed in Kaftoun, Koura in North Lebanon
In response to events in Kaftoun, counter-terrorism operations were conducted in North Lebanon in 2020 resulting in deaths and arrests of suspected terrorists. During one arrest operation, in Beddawi (also Beddaoui) close to Tripoli, 4 members of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) were killed. A further 2 LAF soldiers were killed when their checkpoint was attacked in Arman. Lebanese security authorities are at a high state of alert and are conducting security operations across Lebanon. Be vigilant and follow the advice of Lebanese authorities. Avoid large crowds, demonstrations, political gatherings and using shared public transport.
There’s a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation. Additional security measures have been in place on flights departing from Lebanon to the UK since March 2017. You should co-operate fully with security officials.
If you notice or suspect a security incident is underway, leave the area immediately. Suspects have detonated explosives to avoid arrest. Keep clear of affected areas immediately after any attacks. Bystanders have been killed in a number of terrorist attacks in recent years.
There’s a threat of kidnapping in Lebanon. The Lebanese authorities have warned that foreigners could be targeted.
British nationals are seen as legitimate targets, including tourists, humanitarian aid workers, journalists and business travellers. If you are kidnapped, the reason for your presence is unlikely to protect you or secure your safe release.
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.
Military activity in the Red Sea area
Military activity is currently underway in response to attempts by Houthi militants to prevent movement of international shipping in the Red Sea. While the area of activity is limited to the Red Sea and Yemen, there is a possibility that Travel Advice for nearby countries could change at short notice. You should continue to monitor Travel Advice and follow any relevant instructions from local authorities.
The security situation in Lebanon is volatile and can deteriorate quickly. On 2 January 2024, there was an explosion in Msharafieh in Beirut’s southern suburbs. There continues to be a risk of escalation without warning and the FCDO continues to advise against all travel to Lebanon, including this area.
Violence is very likely to occur:
- between security forces and protestors
- between supporters of political groups
- over scarce or subsidised resources
- as a result of the Conflict in neighbouring Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories
This often happens without warning, particularly at existing flashpoints. These confrontations have 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. Weapons are common in Lebanon and groups such as Hizballah have arms that are beyond state control. Arguments can quickly escalate into violence, including the use of weapons, typically firearms and bladed weapons. There have been several reports over the past year of firearms being used during arguments in bars.
Celebratory gunfire is illegal in Lebanon but remains widespread. Every year there are reported casualties.
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.
Security advice for British nationals
- avoid large crowds and political gatherings
- take cover in a building and move away from windows in areas where there’s celebratory or other gunfire
- be especially vigilant during periods of religious significance (including the holy month of Ramadan) and public holidays
- register your presence You should complete this for every member of your family/group.
- monitor this travel advice and sign up for email updates
- make sure you have correct and up-to-date travel documents, including a passport and visa if necessary, for yourself and anyone you are travelling with (even if they are not a British national) in case a sudden deterioration in the security situation means you need to leave Lebanon
If there are widespread disturbances or the security situation deteriorates, there may be limits to the assistance that the British Embassy Beirut can provide. Be prepared to shelter in place for several days, if the security situation requires it. This means having enough essential supplies, such as food, water and medicine, at the place where you are staying. Do not rely on the FCDO being able to evacuate you in an emergency.
Severe economic crisis
Lebanon is experiencing a prolonged and severe economic crisis. The situation is unpredictable and could deteriorate without warning.
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. While ATMs are generally stocked with Lebanese pounds, there may be limits on daily withdrawals so check with your bank before travelling. US dollars are accepted in most supermarkets, restaurants and other outlets. However, it is very difficult to access US dollars locally. Many companies no longer accept credit debit cards so make sure you have enough cash for your stay.
Many hospitals and other medical services are affected by fuel shortages. See healthcare facilities in Lebanon.
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, carry a medical certificate confirming that the medication has been prescribed for a medical condition.
Petrol and diesel can be difficult to access, with restrictions of supply at short notice. There are frequent, prolonged closures of fuel stations. Plan ahead and ensure you have enough fuel in your car before travelling. Arguments at fuel stations have sometimes become violent and involved weapons. Always make sure your vehicle is positioned to be able to leave a fuel queue quickly if tensions rise.
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.
Lebanon’s power plants are only producing 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. 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 plan how you would leave your accommodation in the dark.
Border with Israel
There are ongoing mortar and artillery exchanges and airstrikes in South Lebanon, on the border with Israel. Tensions are high and events could escalate with little warning.
There is a high level of tension in Lebanon due to the economic and political situation. Protests can occur without warning and may become violent. They have centred on the main cities of Beirut, Tripoli and Saida, but have occurred at other locations and may take place nationwide.
- exercise a high degree of caution
- monitor local media for developments
- avoid areas where demonstrations may be held, or where there are large gatherings of people
Keep up to date with developments by getting email updates when this travel advice is updated.
Protecting your belongings
There is moderate risk to tourists from petty or violent crime. However, crime has increased due to the declining economic situation. Theft, vehicle theft and robbery in particular have risen. Take sensible precautions to protect yourself and your belongings:
- consider your route and vary daily routines
- hide expensive-looking jewellery, which could draw unwanted attention
- avoid carrying large amounts of cash in public
- be aware of your surroundings when using ATMs
Members of the public have held up banks across Lebanon in order to access their savings, using both real and replica firearms. This may well continue. Be alert when in or near banks.
There has been an increase in reported incidents of sexual harassment and assault in public areas, including while walking in Beirut. Consider whether it is safe to walk alone, particularly in less busy areas. Due to the lack of electricity, streetlights often do not work, so streets are very dark at night. Consider taking a torch with you at night and make sure your phone is charged in case of an emergency.
Drug smuggling and car theft
Criminal gangs involved in drug cultivation and smuggling operate in parts of the Beqaa Valley, especially northern Beqaa. Car theft gangs are prevalent and may carry out armed vehicle theft, particularly along sections of the international highway towards Baalbek. Vehicle thefts (including 4x4s) have increased significantly and are often targeted. Other armed crimes, such as robbery and kidnap, can occur in these areas. There are also frequent armed clashes between gangs and the security forces.
Laws and cultural differences
Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims. The dates vary by year and country. In Lebanon, Ramadan in 2024 will probably run from 9 March 2024 to 8 April 2024. During this time, be aware of:
- eating, drinking, smoking or chewing gum in public in the daytime, including in your car
- playing loud music or dance
- swearing in public
Get more advice when you arrive from your tour guide, hotel or business contacts.
You should also:
- check opening hours of shops and restaurants
- follow local dress codes – clothing that does not meet local dress codes may cause more offence at this time
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 make sure your actions do not offend.
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.
Illegal drugs and prison sentences
Possessing, using and trafficking illegal drugs (including small quantities) are all serious offences, punishable with prison sentences.
Using cameras and drones in secure areas
Only take photographs in tourist sites. You could be arrested for photographing military sites. 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 includes homosexuality. A criminal offence under this provision is punishable by a prison sentence of up to a year. The Lebanese Medical Association for Sexual Health has resources for LGBT+ people.
Read more advice for LGBT+ travellers.
Child abduction and travel bans
If you have concerns about child custody, get legal 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.
In Lebanon a father or husband can legally arrange for a travel ban to be placed on their wife or children. If a travel ban is placed on you or your children, you will not be able to travel. If that does happen a parent should seek legal assistance to check if the travel ban can be lifted.
Lebanese family law is very different from UK law and particular care is needed if child custody becomes an issue.
If you’re a British national involved in international parental child abductions or custody disputes, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for assistance or call +44(0)2070085000. FCDO has information on international parental child abduction, including how we can help. FCDO strongly advises against attempting to move your child yourself. This may be considered abduction (or ‘re-abduction’). This may be illegal and can put your child at risk.
Shared taxis and unofficial taxis
Do not use shared taxis or taxis hailed on the street.
Only use taxis:
- from recognised companies that use vetted drivers
- recognised by hotels, which are safe and well-maintained
There have been 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.
In 2017, the Lebanese Interior Minister advised people in Lebanon not to use Uber taxis.
You need either a 1968 international driving permit (IDP) or a UK driving licence to drive in Lebanon. The 1949 IDP is not accepted anymore. You cannot buy an IDP outside the UK, so get one before you travel. You can buy an IDP in person from some UK post offices – find your nearest post office branch that offers this service.
If you are planning to drive in Lebanon, see information on driving abroad.
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.
Licences and permits
Carry ID with you at all times and be prepared to stop at checkpoints to show your papers. The army has set up checkpoints on major and minor roads.
Temporary local licences are also available, but they take longer to get and are more expensive than an IDP.
Protests and roadblocks may restrict travel 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.
Landmines and other unexploded bombs 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.
Extreme weather and natural disasters
There is a heightened risk of forest fires in Lebanon, particularly during summer. Forest fires are highly dangerous and unpredictable. Take care when visiting or driving through woodland areas. The authorities may evacuate areas and close roads for safety.
If you are travelling in Lebanon, familiarise yourself with local safety and emergency procedures, stay vigilant, and follow the advice of local authorities.
If you see a forest fire, call the emergency services on 112 (for the fire service, call 175).
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.
Lebanon experienced strong aftershocks from an earthquake in Turkey in February 2023. There is a risk of further aftershocks.
This section has safety advice for regions of Lebanon. It only covers regions where FCDO has specific advice.
The FCDO advises against all travel to Lebanon due to risks associated with the conflict between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
The FCDO also advises against travel to the following areas of Lebanon for security reasons:
Palestinian refugee camps
FCDO advises against all travel to the 12 Palestinian refugee camps. See Palestinian refugee camp locations on the UN Relief and Works Agency website.
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 Ain el Hilweh camp near Saida in southern Lebanon.
The town of Hermel
FCDO advises against all travel to the town of Hermel and the surrounding towns of Arsal, Ras Baalbek, Qaa, Laboué and Nahlé.
Extremist groups have particularly operated in the city of Tripoli, Palestinian refugee camps, and in areas close to the Syrian border, including around Hermel and Aarsal.
South of the Litani River
FCDO advises against all travel to the area south of the Litani River, which includes the main Naqoura-Tyre-Saida-Beirut highway and areas to the west of it.
There is a UN peacekeeping presence in the area south of the Litani River due to tensions between Lebanon and Israel.
See Conflict in neighbouring Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories for further information.
FCDO advises against all travel within 5km of the border with Syria due to the ongoing conflict in Syria and the fragile security near border areas.
FCDO advises against all travel to the Akkar district, including between 5km from the Syrian border and the Aabdeh, Halba and Qoubaiyat highway, due to the unstable security situation.
Area around Ain el Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in Saida
FCDO advises against all travel within 2km of Ain el Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in Saida, including:
- the Saida section of Highway 51 and the Coastal Highway north of the Gaziyeh Road intersection
- the Saida section of the Jezzine-Saida road westward of the Abboud Gas Station
Those travelling south from Beirut towards Saida along Highway 51 should turn east off the main highway at the Awali River junction before the permanent Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) security checkpoint.
Fighting between armed groups in the Ain el Hilweh camp has intensified following a flare up on 30 July. On 7 September, a number of injuries were reported. There have been reports of rounds reaching as far as Ghaziyeh Town (2km south). As a precaution, the Lebanese Armed Forces have created a roadblock on Highway 51 in the Ghaziyeh area and redirected traffic to alternative routes. Tensions remain high and could escalate without warning. Expect road closures and check travel updates.
Rachaiya, Hasbaiya and Khiam in the Beqaa Valley
FCDO advises against all travel to:
- the towns of Rachaiya, Hasbaiya, and Khiam in the Beqaa Valley
- the area between these towns up to 5km from the Syrian border
The Rayak-Baalbek highway
FCDO advises against all travel:
- from the junction at Rayak along the highway to Baalbek
- to the areas around the highway and towns along it, including Baalbek
- to the area east of the highway up to 5km from the Syrian border and south of Nahlé town
Southern suburbs of Beirut
FCDO advises against all travel to the southern suburbs of Beirut, which includes:
- the area south of the sports stadium and the Adnan Al Hakim road (which heads west from the stadium to the Beirut-Saida (Sidon) road), down to the airport
- the neighbourhoods of Bir Hassan, Ghobeiry, Chiyah, Haret Hraik, Burj Al Barajneh, Mraije, Er Rouais and Laylake
FCDO advises against all travel to the city of Tripoli due to the compromised security situation and counter-terrorism operations.
Before you travel check that:
- your destination can provide the healthcare you may need
- you have appropriate travel insurance for local treatment or unexpected medical evacuation
This is particularly important if you have a health condition or are pregnant.
Emergency medical number
Dial 112 and ask for an ambulance.
Contact your insurance company promptly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.
Vaccinations and health risks
At least 8 weeks before your trip check:
- the latest information on vaccinations and health risks in TravelHealthPro’s Lebanon guide
- where to get vaccines and whether you have to pay on the NHS travel vaccinations page
There have been reported cases of cholera in Lebanon. More guidance is available in TravelHealthPro’s cholera factsheet.
Medical supplies are increasingly hard to find in country. You should take 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.
The NHS has information on whether you can take your medicine abroad.
Healthcare facilities in Lebanon
The availability and quality of medical treatment available in Lebanon is being affected by the economic crisis and fuel shortages. For example:
- air conditioning and lighting may be turned off
- non-essential medical treatment may be cancelled
- hospitals may refuse to take patients if they are unable to treat them
- emergency and life-saving care, including life support care, could be severely impacted
Medical care in Lebanon can be expensive. 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.
FCDO has a list of English-speaking doctors in Lebanon.
There is also guidance on healthcare if you’re living in Lebanon.
Travel and mental health
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) cannot provide tailored advice for individual trips. Read this travel advice and carry out your own research before deciding whether to travel.
Emergency services in Lebanon
Contact your travel provider and insurer
Contact your travel provider and your insurer if you are involved in a serious incident or emergency abroad. They will tell you if they can help and what you need to do.
Refunds and changes to travel
For refunds or changes to travel, contact your travel provider. You may also be able to make a claim through insurance. However, insurers usually require you to talk to your travel provider first.
Find out more about changing or cancelling travel plans, including:
- where to get advice if you are in a dispute with a provider
- how to access previous versions of travel advice to support a claim
Support from FCDO
FCDO has guidance on staying safe and what to do if you need help or support abroad, including:
- finding English-speaking lawyers, funeral directors and translators and interpreters in Lebanon
- dealing with a death in Lebanon
- being arrested or imprisoned in Lebanon
- getting help if you’re a victim of crime
- what to do if you’re in hospital
- if you’re affected by a crisis, such as a terrorist attack
Help abroad in an emergency
If you’re in Lebanon and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the British Embassy in Beirut.
You can also contact FCDO online.
FCDO in London
You can call FCDO in London if you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad.
Telephone: 020 7008 5000 (24 hours)
Risk information for British companies
The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.