Protests Ongoing

Jan 22, 2020

On 20 January 2020, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Lebanon, which reads in part as follows:

“Protests which began on 17 October 2019 are ongoing. The protests have centred on Beirut and Tripoli, but have occurred at various locations nationwide, often with little notice. Violent confrontations between protestors, security forces and supporters of political groups have occurred, including major clashes in downtown Beirut on 18 and 19 January 2020 which resulted in hundreds of casualties and the widespread use of tear gas and rubber bullets by the security forces to disperse crowds. A protestor died in a further incident in Khalde on 12 November 2019.

“Violence between the security forces and protestors is highly likely to reoccur, including at short notice, in particular at existing flashpoints – notably downtown Beirut. You should remain vigilant, avoid protests, demonstrations and large political gatherings, and keep up to date with developments…

“As a result of the protests, major roads in and out of Beirut and across the country have become blocked at short notice, including the roads to and from Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport ([OLBA/BEY]). If you’re travelling to or from the airport, check your flight status before leaving, allow extra time for your journey and ensure that you have adequate medical supplies if required. If roads from the airport are blocked, wait there until the authorities confirm access roads are open.

“Fuel stations continue to supply petrol, but there have been closures at short notice. Plan any journeys carefully, seek local advice before departing and be prepared to change plans at short notice.

“Banks have been closed for long periods during the protests. While ATMs have been reliably stocked with Lebanese Pounds, and credit/debit cards continue to be accepted in most circumstances, access to US dollars is extremely limited. If you do not intend to use the local currency, you should bring US dollars with you.

“Medical supplies may become increasingly scarce. You should therefore bring any medicines you need with you to Lebanon.”

The full text of the advice is available here.

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