Is it safe to visit Libya
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Warnings are given against traveling to Libya.
The spread of COVID-19 is leading to restrictions in international air and travel traffic and impairment of public life.
Libya is badly affected by COVID-19. Libya is classified as a risk area. The Libyan National Center of Disease Control and the World Health Organization (WHO) provide current and detailed figures.
The Libyan government had decided to close all border crossings (including seaports and airports) as a containment measure against the outbreak of the coronavirus. In the meantime the border crossings to Tunisia have been opened and there are a few international flights. Entry for foreigners with a valid visa is possible again.
Restrictions in the country
National air traffic as well as rail and bus traffic in the country have been resumed. Curfews can be imposed at short notice and regionally.
There is currently no mask requirement, spacing rules are hardly observed.
- Note the travel warning that is still valid.
- Make sure you comply with the AHA regulations and also follow the instructions from local authorities.
- Note the test and quarantine requirements when entering Germany from risk areas (not transit) and contact the health department at your place of residence. The Federal Ministry of Health offers further information on compulsory testing.
- Stays in foreign countries can currently affect the possibility of entering other countries. Therefore, find out about the current regulations on entry, transit and quarantine in the respective travel countries via the travel and safety information before starting any trip.
- Please note our continuously updated information on COVID-19 / Coronavirus.
Safety - travel warning
Warnings are given against traveling to Libya.
All Germans who have not yet left the country are asked to leave Libya.
There is an increased risk of terrorist attacks, particularly against state institutions.
In principle, the state security organs cannot guarantee adequate protection. Armed groups, some of which are unclear as to what they belong to, often appear as representatives of the public order, but they are not trained and are not very predictable.
The situation in large parts of the country is very confusing and uncertain. Since April 2019, there have been increasing armed clashes between forces of the internationally recognized government of national consensus and units of the so-called Libyan National Army (LNA) in the greater Tripoli area and some other cities in northwest Libya. Since the LNA withdrew from the capital region in June 2020, the security situation there has calmed down. As long as key parts of the ceasefire agreement are not implemented, the situation will remain fragile. A new military escalation is possible at any time. In other parts of the country, too, violent clashes occur again and again, which can also affect foreigners. In the past few months there have been fighting in the Sabha region in southern Libya, among others. In many places there is a risk of landmines even after fighting has ended.
Crime has increased significantly. There is a high risk of kidnapping for foreigners throughout Libya and in particular in the greater Tripoli, Sirte, Benghazi and Derna areas and in the south of the country.
There is a nationwide risk of armed robbery and car-jacking, especially with high-quality vehicles and off-road vehicles.
- All Germans who are still in Libya against the travel warning should leave the country as soon as possible.
- If you want to go to Libya against this travel warning, you should definitely work out a comprehensive security concept with an emergency plan and pay attention to travel and health insurance that is valid in Libya.
- Movement in the dark should be avoided at all costs.
Nature and climate
There is a Mediterranean climate in the coastal area and a desert climate in the interior.
The rainy season runs from November to March and can lead to flooding.
In summer, the prevailing climatic conditions can lead to extreme heat and periods of drought.
- Follow local news and weather reports.
- Always observe prohibitions, signs and warnings as well as the instructions of local authorities.
Responsible diplomatic mission
The German embassy in Tripoli is currently closed to visitors and cannot provide consular assistance on site in an emergency. The official business, even in an emergency, is carried out from Tunis.
Infrastructure / traffic
Air traffic does not meet European safety standards. Libyan airlines are on the EU's list of unsafe airlines.
The infrastructure in the country has suffered considerably from the chaos of war.
In the cities and on the main routes of communication in Libya, and in particular on the most important connecting route from west to east along the coast, there are a large number of military checkpoints run by the security authorities and armed militias who carry out extensive and often arbitrary controls. Overland roads and motorways as well as border crossings are temporarily closed.
Due to fighting in many places, traveling in the country continues to be very dangerous. In addition, there is a lack of discipline, poor or unpaved roads and poor safety standards for vehicles, which lead to a high accident rate. The signs in the country are generally only available in Arabic script.
The international driving license is required and is only valid in conjunction with the national German driving license.
Special rules of conduct / Ramadan
There are a number of military restricted areas in Libya. There is an absolute ban on entering and taking photos in such areas. Taking photos near military facilities is only allowed with permission. Visits to desert regions were previously only allowed with a desert pass from the Libyan authorities.
Islamic belief is part of Libyan culture and laws. This should be taken into account in clothing and behavior, and religious and social traditions should be treated with respect.
During the fasting month of Ramadan, restrictions in everyday life (e.g. restaurant closings during the day, reduced working hours for authorities) and increased sensitivity in religious matters and in questions of respecting Islamic traditions can be expected. Eating, drinking and smoking in public are also prohibited for non-Muslims.
Same-sex sexual relations are prohibited in Libya and threatened with imprisonment. Even if no case is known so far in which a European was prosecuted on the basis of this provision, a correspondingly discreet behavior is strongly advised.
Possession of drugs is strictly sanctioned. Adultery, extramarital intercourse and homosexuality are all criminal offenses in Libya.
Collecting, purchasing and exporting stones, pottery shards and the like are prohibited.
It is forbidden to take photographs of public buildings, ports, airports, military facilities and vehicles, industrial facilities, bridges, embassy buildings, uniforms and uniforms as well as interior views of mosques and gravesites. Violation may result in arrest.
The conditions of detention in Libya do not meet German standards.
Money / credit cards
The local currency is the Libyan Dinar (LYD), which is not convertible outside of Libya. Most payments are made in cash, there are no ATMs available. Credit cards are only accepted occasionally, as in larger hotels.
Only US dollars, euros, British pounds, Swiss francs and the Tunisian dinar can be exchanged on site.
Entry and customs
Entry and import regulations for German citizens can change at short notice without notifying the Foreign Office beforehand. You can only obtain legally binding information and / or information that goes beyond this information on the entry and customs regulations for importing goods directly from the representatives of your destination country.
You can find the customs regulations for Germany on the website of the German customs and via the “Customs and Travel” app or you can inquire about them by telephone.
Entry is possible for German citizens with the following documents:
- Passport: Yes
- Temporary passport: Yes
- Identity card: No
- Provisional identity card: No
- Children's passport: Yes
Comments / minimum remaining validity:
All travel documents must be valid for at least six months upon entry.
German citizens need a visa to enter Libya.
Germans who are permanently abroad must apply for a visa at the Libyan diplomatic mission responsible for the host country, or at the Libyan embassy in Berlin if they are in Germany.
The German diplomatic missions abroad cannot provide any support, e.g. in the form of issuing consular certificates.
Previous stays in Israel
If the passport contains Israeli entry stamps or entry stamps from border crossings that border Israel (border crossing Allenby- / King Hussein Bridge to Jordan or border crossing Taba (Sinai) to Egypt), entry will be refused - even if the Libyan embassy has issued a visa. Affected persons are sent back to Germany or to their country of origin. Even without a stamp in the passport, there may be delays in entering the country if there is information in the passport about a corresponding place of birth (Israel or occupied territories).
The import and export of Libyan dinars is prohibited. Foreign currencies must be declared upon import. Exchange receipts should be kept in order to be able to prove the amount of foreign currency permitted on departure (amount stated on entry minus the evidenced amount exchanged).
The import of alcoholic beverages, drugs and pork products is prohibited. In the event of non-compliance, the removal of the passport, a lengthy court hearing and a fine must be expected.
Antiques, including stones, pottery shards and the like, as well as pieces of meteorites, may not be brought out of the country.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the respiratory disease COVID-19, which is triggered by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, a pandemic.
In January 2019, WHO declared delaying or skipping vaccinations as a threat to global health. In particular, the lack of vaccination against measles poses a high risk when the number of cases increases internationally.
- As part of your travel preparations, check your and your children's vaccination protection against measles and have this supplemented if necessary.
When entering from a yellow fever area, all persons from the age of one year must provide evidence of a yellow fever vaccination. Libya itself is not a yellow fever infection area.
According to the WHO, evidence of meningococcal vaccination (ACWY) must be provided. However, the Libyan Ministry of Health does not recommend vaccination and there are no controls on entry.
When entering from Afghanistan or Pakistan, proof of a polio vaccination must be provided, which was carried out 4 weeks to 12 months before entry.
- Make sure that you and your children have the standard vaccinations according to the vaccination calendar of the Robert Koch Institute up to date.
- Vaccinations against hepatitis A are recommended as travel vaccinations, and in the case of long-term stays or special exposure also against hepatitis B and rabies.
- Please note the instructions for use and help for the indication in the travel vaccination recommendations leaflet.
The DTG offers up-to-date, detailed travel vaccination recommendations for specialist groups.
Libya is considered malaria free.
HIV / AIDS
There is always a high risk of HIV transmission through sexual contact, drug use (unclean syringes or cannulas) and blood transfusions.
- Always use condoms, especially on casual acquaintances.
Diarrheal illnesses are common travel illnesses, see also the information sheet on diarrheal illnesses. However, through appropriate food and drinking water hygiene, most diarrheal diseases and also cholera (see below) can be avoided. To protect your health, please observe the following basic information:
- Only drink water of safe origin, never tap water. A previously opened bottle can be identified more easily by purchasing carbonated bottled water.
- If possible, use drinking water to wash dishes and brush your teeth when you are out and about.
- If bottled water is not available, use filtered, disinfected, or boiled water.
- Cook or peel food yourself.
- Make sure you keep flies away from your food.
- Wash your hands with soap as often as possible, but always before preparing and eating.
- If possible, disinfect your hands with liquid disinfectant.
Cholera is transmitted through insufficiently treated drinking water or raw food and can therefore be avoided through appropriate food and drinking water hygiene. Only a small part of the people infected with cholera get sick and of these in turn the majority with a comparatively mild course. The indication for a cholera vaccination is only given very rarely, usually only in the case of special exposures such as working in hospitals with cholera patients, see information sheet on cholera.
- If necessary, seek advice from a tropical or travel doctor with regard to your risk profile.
More infectious diseases
Schistosomiasis is endemic in some regions, avoid contact with freshwater there!
Hepatitis A, B, C, echinococcosis, typhoid, and rabies can occur across the country.
Leishmaniasis and phlebotomus fever are endemic.
Medical care in the country cannot be compared with Europe and is often technically, apparatus-related and / or hygienic in many cases, especially outside the capital Tripoli. Violent conflicts and the departure of the often foreign nursing staff of state hospitals and private clinics represent an additional burden for the ailing health system.
- Take out travel health and repatriation insurance for the duration of your stay abroad. The German Liaison Office Health Insurance - Abroad offers detailed information.
- Take an individual first-aid kit with you and protect it against high temperatures when you are out and about, see information sheet on first-aid kit
- Before you travel, seek personal advice from tropical medicine advice centers, tropical medicine specialists or travel medicine specialists and adjust your vaccination protection, even if you have already experienced the tropics from other regions. Corresponding doctors can be found e.g. B. via the DTG.
In addition to the general disclaimer, please note:
- All information is intended for the information of medically trained. They are not a substitute for the consultation of a doctor.
- The recommendations are tailored to direct entry from Germany to a travel destination, especially for longer stays on site. For shorter trips, entries from third countries and trips to other areas of the country, deviations may apply.
- All information is always dependent on the individual circumstances of the traveler and may require medical advice.
- Despite the best possible efforts, the medical information is always only an offer of advice. They cannot cover all medical aspects, eliminate all doubts or always be completely up-to-date. You stay responsible for your healthy.
Country information for your travel destination
Here you will find the addresses of the responsible diplomatic missions and information on politics and bilateral relations with Germany.
Further information for your trip
The global threat of terrorist attacks and kidnappings remains unchanged.
Since September 2014, the terrorist organizations "Al Qaeda" and "Islamic State" (IS) have been threatening with attacks against various countries and their nationals. There were a number of attacks with firearms, explosives, kidnappings and hostage-taking.
Even if there are currently no specific indications of a threat to German interests abroad, it cannot be ruled out that German nationals or German institutions abroad will also become targets of terrorist acts of violence.
Places with a symbolic character come into question as possible targets. These include well-known sights, government and administrative buildings, transport infrastructure (especially airplanes, trains, ships, buses), economic and tourism centers, hotels, markets, religious meeting places and generally larger gatherings of people.
The level of terrorist threat differs from country to country. There is a particular risk of an attack in countries and regions in which attacks have already been carried out repeatedly or can be carried out relatively easily due to a lack of effective security measures, or in which terrorists have the support of the local population.
More detailed information about the terrorist threat can be found in the country-specific travel and safety information. These are checked regularly and adjusted if necessary.
The risk of falling victim to an attack is still comparatively low compared to other risks that travel abroad entails, such as accidents, illnesses or ordinary crime. Nevertheless, travelers should be aware of the risk.
The Federal Foreign Office strongly recommends that all travelers behave in a safety-conscious and appropriate manner. Before and during a trip, travelers should carefully inform themselves about the conditions in their country of travel, behave appropriately, follow the local media and report suspicious incidents (e.g. unattended baggage in airports or train stations, suspicious behavior by people) to the local police or security authorities .
German nationals are recommended to register in the Foreign Office's "Elefand" crisis prevention list, regardless of their country or the length of their stay abroad:
Crisis preparedness list
Please clarify with your health insurance company whether there is adequate health insurance coverage for your trip abroad, which also covers the costs of a rescue flight to Germany.
Without adequate insurance cover, the costs necessary on site (e.g. treatment or hospital costs, flight home) are generally borne by the person concerned and can quickly use up all of your savings.
It is common in many countries that the costs invoiced by doctors or hospitals have to be settled or even advanced before discharge. It can also not be ruled out that the doctor / hospital will obtain a refusal to leave the country for the patient if the bill is not paid.
Many souvenirs are subject to strict import regulations. Find out in good time!
Before starting your trip, please find out which souvenirs are not allowed to be imported for reasons of species protection. Quite a few tourists experience a nasty surprise on their return, when the memento is confiscated by customs or even punished. No matter how impressive an exotic souvenir is due to its specialty and uniqueness - many of the animal and plant species from which such souvenirs are made are endangered or even threatened with extinction. These souvenirs are subject to strict import regulations.
Customs and the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation have introduced the online portal species protection for travelers on vacation. Here you can find out exactly which souvenirs from which countries can be imported into Germany.
Please do not contribute to the illegal and harmful trade in wild animals and plants. Nature conservation organizations as well as environmental and customs authorities advise you not to take any risks and to refrain from bringing souvenirs made from animals or plants. Instead, they recommend purchasing local textiles, ceramics, metal and glass work or paintings. Basically, you should exercise caution when buying animal and plant products if you cannot understand their origin. In this way you do not harm the flora and fauna of your holiday destination.
Please also note our questions and answers on the subject of "Safety Instructions"
Disclaimer of liability
Travel and safety information is based on information from the Federal Foreign Office that is available at the specified time and that is considered to be trustworthy. A guarantee for the correctness and completeness as well as liability for any damage that may occur cannot be assumed. Hazardous situations are often confusing and can change rapidly. The decision to undertake a trip is your sole responsibility. References to special legal provisions abroad always concern only a few selected questions. Legal regulations can also change at any time without the Federal Foreign Office being informed. It is therefore recommended that you contact the competent diplomatic or consular mission of the destination country.
The Federal Foreign Office urgently advises you to observe the recommendations contained in the travel and safety information and to take out appropriate insurance cover, e.g. health insurance abroad with repatriation insurance. In this context, it should be noted that you will be charged for any necessary relief measures in accordance with the Consular Act.
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