- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Additional Information
- Embassy Contact
General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation
Avoid non-essential travel
Security Status Last Updated: 17 March 2020
Latest Travel Alert
COVID-19 is still a threat, but with continued public health measures, vaccination and testing, it will be possible to travel internationally. You will need to plan your travel carefully and there are risks.
Department of Foreign Affairs services and practical supports to all Irish Citizens travelling abroad can be found on dfa.ie/Travel
There is an ongoing outbreak of a COVID-19 in many countries around the world, including Lebanon.
Travel to Lebanon
All persons entering Lebanon, except for children under twelve years of age, are required to take a PCR test at a laboratory certified by local authorities within 96 hours prior to travel. They must present this result at check-in before proceeding to immigration. If the test result is positive, the passenger will be prohibited from boarding.
Upon arrival in Lebanon, all persons must also undergo another PCR test at the airport. If you test positive, the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health will provide further guidance.
The Lebanese authorities have put in place a number of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19:
- A nation-wide lockdown came into effect from Thursday 7 January 2021 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A State of Emergency has also been declared from 14 – 25 January. Movement is completely prohibited until 25 January at 5am and you must not leave your accommodation. Pharmacies will observe reduced hours and grocery stores will be open for delivery only.
- Beirut’s Rafic Hariri International Airport reopened on 1 July 2020. However, from Monday 11 January 2021, the number of incoming passengers allowed into the airport will be reduced to 20% compared to January 2020.
- People travelling to Beirut will be required to comply with testing and self-isolation measures to reduce the spread of covid-19. Check with the airline and Lebanese embassy before booking. Any passenger who shows symptoms of COVID-19, will not be allowed to board the aircraft.
If you are currently in Lebanon and think you have COVID-19 symptoms you should self-isolate. You should call the Lebanese Ministry of Health Coronavirus Hotline on 1787 if you require further advice. The 24 hour number for those with COVID-19 who require hospitalisation is +961 (0) 1832 700. Irish nationals in Lebanon should comply with local restrictions and monitor local media for updates.
Some countries are imposing restrictions on travel from Lebanon. If you are travelling from Lebanon, you should check the situation at your destination before you travel.
Additional information on COVID-19 in Lebanon can be found here: Ministry of Public Health - Lebanon
General Travel Advice
On 4 August 2020 a large explosion occurred in the port area of Beirut causing widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure in the city and surrounding areas. Damage both at the port and in areas close to the port remains an ongoing hazard and could pose a risk to your personal safety.
There is an increased risk of protests and demonstrations. If you are currently in Beirut, you should avoid the immediate area of the incident and any protests, remain vigilant and follow the advice of the local authorities.
There is significant disruption to services across the city and many hospitals are only taking emergency cases. The airport remains operational.
The best help is often close at hand; try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.
Travel to Ireland
Up to date information on travelling to Ireland can be found on gov.ie
Information on Travel within Europe (EU/EEA) can also be found on Re-open EU.
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and security
The political situation in Lebanon is fragile and has the potential to deteriorate quickly. Regional developments also have the potential to trigger popular unrest.
If you’re in Lebanon, we advise you to exercise extreme caution and to consider your need to remain there, to monitor this travel advice and the local media for updates on the situation.
Political tensions and security concerns are heightened at present as a result of unrest in neighbouring Syria and the wider region. Syrian military forces have made several incursions into Lebanese territory. Protests, sectarian violence and kidnappings of foreigners have occurred throughout the country, particularly in the northern city of Tripoli.
There have been a number of attacks by al Qaeda-linked militants, mainly in the south. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and Lebanese Government interests, particularly the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), have been targeted for attacks by some of the militant groups, some of these involving fatalities.
Unexploded ordnance, particularly in the South, and in the Bekaa Valley, is a risk. Don’t stray off main routes, particularly in rural areas, and always check with your local contact before travelling to affected regions.
Foreign nationals can be potential targets for kidnapping throughout Lebanon, particularly in the northern city of Tripoli and Baalbek or other parts of the Bekaa Valley, where we strongly advise you to keep to the main roads and larger towns.
Protests and Demonstrations
Protest and demonstrations can turn violent with little warning. We strongly advise all Irish citizens in Lebanon to avoid all protests and demonstrations. If caught up in a demonstration Irish citizens should not attempt to take photos and should leave the area immediately.
The risk to tourists from petty or violent crime is low in Lebanon, though vehicle crime is on the increase. You should always take sensible precautions:
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
- Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you’re alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business.
- Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, and arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible.
- Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafés, train and bus stations.
If you’re planning to drive in Lebanon, you should be extremely careful as the accident rate is high and road standards are variable. If you want to drive:
- Bring your full Irish driver’s licence and your international driving permit and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance. Your international driving permit must be certified by authorities on arrival
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught
- Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights
- Avoid driving outside the main cities at night
The road to the airport can be closed sporadically due to various factors, including local sectarian clashes, civil unrest in Syria and protests against government policies.
If you’re driving your own car in Lebanon, be aware that vehicles with diesel engines are now banned.
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Local laws and customs
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.
Although Lebanon may seem less conservative than its neighbours in the region, we recommend you dress modestly when visiting sites of religious significance, and areas outside the main cities.
During the holy month of Ramadan, avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public in certain areas as this may cause offence.
Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.
While you’re in Lebanon, you’re subject to local laws, including ones that may seem harsh by Irish standards. For example, the laws around custody of children are significantly different to those in force in Ireland, so if you’re a parent, you should be aware of your legal position.
If you have to deal with any legal matters in Lebanon, particularly about family law, we strongly advise you to get professional legal advice.
It’s against the law to photograph or video government buildings or military personnel, equipment and installations.
The temperature in certain areas of Lebanon during the summer months in some areas can reach over 40 degrees Celsius and you should drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
Lebanon is in an active earthquake zone. If you’re travelling to or living in Lebanon, make sure you know what to do in the event of an earthquake.
Bush and forest fires are common during the summer months in Lebanon (usually June to September) particularly in heavily-forested areas. Follow local reports closely for warnings of forest fires and avoid any areas that may have fire warnings in place.
Sand and dust storms are also common so follow local reports closely for warnings.
Entry requirements (visa/passport)
Irish citizens need a visa to enter Lebanon, which is usually available on arrival to tourists travelling on ordinary passports. If you want more information on the entry requirements for Lebanon, ask your travel agent or contact the nearest Embassy of Lebanon in London.
You can also check with them how long your passport must be valid for.
Having Israeli stamps in your passport or entry/exit stamps from Egypt’s and Jordan’s borders with Israel will prevent your entry into Lebanon.
Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need an vaccinations for Lebanon.
In general, tap water is not safe to drink. Bottled water is cheap and readily available.
We do not have an Embassy in Lebanon, please contact Embassy of Ireland Egypt.
If you are an Irish citizen and in need of emergency assistance outside of normal office hours, then you can contact us on the following emergency number: +20 1274443942
Alternatively, the Duty Officer at the Department of Foreign Affairs can be contacted at +353 1 408 2000.
Embassy of Ireland
18 Hassan Sabry Street
Monday to Friday 09:30-12:30
Honorary Consulate Contact
Mr. Georges H. Siam
Badaro 2000 Building 1st Floor
Email: Email us
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.