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Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon: What is the latest travel advice amid the Israel-Hamas war?

Although Egypt shares a border with Gaza and Israel, the country has not yet been drawn into the conflict.
Although Egypt shares a border with Gaza and Israel, the country has not yet been drawn into the conflict. Copyright Omar Elsharawy
Copyright Omar Elsharawy
By Rebecca Ann Hughes
Published on Updated
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The UK and EU governments have already warned against all but essential travel to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

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Israel is continuing to bombard Gaza - home to more than 2 million inhabitants - after militant group Hamas launched a surprise attack last weekend.

Over 1,400 people in Israel were killed in the Islamic group’s assault. Nearly 2,700 people in Gaza have been killed in Israel's retaliatory bombardment.

The UK and EU governments have already warned against all but essential travel to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

But travellers should also exercise caution when visiting some areas of neighbouring or nearby countries. Here’s what you need to know if you’ve booked a trip to Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, or Türkiye.

Is it safe to travel to Lebanon?

Lebanon, which lies to the north of Israel and shares a border, looks set to become involved in the deepening Israel-Hamas conflict. 

Militant group Hezbollah has already exchanged missile strikes with Israel and tensions along the border are high. 

The UK’s Foreign Office (FCDO) has now upgraded its guidelines for Lebanon, advising against all travel and urging Britons to leave the country. 

“Events in Lebanon are fast moving. The situation has potential to deteriorate quickly and with no warning," the advice now says, 

“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.”

The Australian, US and European governments including Ireland and France have also issued 'no-go' travel warnings for Lebanon.

Is it safe to travel to Egypt?

Although Egypt shares a border with Gaza and Israel, the country has not yet been drawn into the conflict.

The Rafah border crossing may be opened to let Palestinians in Gaza escape to safety, but it is currently closed.

In terms of international travel, Egypt’s borders remain open and airlines and package holiday operators are continuing as normal in the country.

Flights to Egypt do not pass through Israeli airspace and have not been affected by the conflict so far.

Most of Egypt’s major cities and key tourist sites are located far away from the border with Israel and Gaza.

Beach resort Sharm el-Sheikh is the nearest, but it is still over two-and-a-half hours’ drive away from the closest border town and more than five hours away from the Gaza border.

Cairo, Alexandria, Hurghada and Luxor are located even further away.

The FCDO has not issued an “avoid all non-essential travel” advisory for Egypt as it has done for Israel.

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As such, if you cancel your trip to Egypt you may not be eligible for a refund or be able to claim money back from travel insurance.

The FCDO does, however, urge tourists to remain vigilant and exercise caution at tourist and religious sites, as well as public gatherings, in Alexandria where two Israeli tourists and an Egyptian tour guide were shot and killed by an Egyptian police officer.

Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) strongly advises against travel to the Governorate of North Sinai, which borders Israel and Gaza, including the Taba-Suez Road. It also warns against travel to Gaza via the Rafah border crossing.

The DFA advises arriving by air if travelling to Sharm el-Sheikh, Hurghada and immediate surrounds and Marsa Alam and immediate surrounds, and tourist areas in the Nile river (such as Luxor, Aswan and Abu Simbel).

Is it safe to travel to Jordan?

Jordan shares a border with Israel and the West Bank (one of the Occupied Palestinian Territories) as well as with Syria.

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Last week, the FCDO updated its guidelines on travel to Jordan stating: “The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to within 3km of Jordan’s border with Syria.”

It also warned that border crossings between Jordan and Israel may be closed at short notice due to the ongoing conflict.

However, most tourist destinations in Jordan remain unaffected by the instability and flights to Amman and Aqaba airports continue to operate as normal.

If you have a package holiday booked and choose to cancel, you are unlikely to receive a refund unless the destination is in one of the FCDO’s ‘no-go’ areas.

The Jordan Tourism Board has released a statement emphasising that the country is a “safe and welcoming destination for tourists around the world.”

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“Our commitment to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all visitors remains unwavering,” the statement said.

“We want to reassure everyone that Jordan’s borders are open to tourists, and we are eager to share our extraordinary experiences with the world.”

Is it safe to travel to Türkiye?

Some travellers have expressed concerns about holidays booked to Türkiye, but the country does not share a border with Israel and is located 879 kilometres away.

Travel to Türkiye is not affected by the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The FCDO guidance still warns against all travel to anywhere within 10 kilometres of the border with Syria and against all but essential travel with Sirnak and the Hakkari province.

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Tourist hotspots including Istanbul, Antalya and Cappadocia as well as coastal resorts remain unaffected and airlines are operating as normal in the country.

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