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Libya

If you’re travelling to Libya, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Additional Information
  • Embassy Contact

Overview

General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation

General advice is to avoid non-essential travel, other than to countries on the ‘Green List’  where the advice is to take normal precautions:

In accordance with Government policy, which is based on official public health advice, the Department of Foreign Affairs continues to advise against non-essential travel overseas (including to Great Britain but not to Northern Ireland), other than to countries on the ‘green list’ where the ‘normal precautions’ security status rating will apply. The request to restrict their movements does not apply to individuals arriving into Ireland from countries on the ‘green list.’

On 15 September, the Government agreed that, for the period ahead, this ‘green list’ will be updated on a weekly basis, to include EU / EEA countries with a 14 day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 of 25 or less, based on the latest data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Updates will be made on the basis of data each Thursday, with changes taking effect from the following Monday.

The updated ‘green’ (normal precautions) list outlined below is based on ECDC data on Thursday 17 September, and will take effect from Monday 21 September. Until then, the earlier list continues to apply.

Green’ (Normal Precautions) List to take effect from Monday 21 September

‘Green’ (Normal Precautions) List below remains in effect until midnight on Sunday 20 September

  • Estonia*
  • Finland*
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Hungary *
  • Italy
  • Latvia*
  • Lithuania*
  • Norway*
  • Slovakia

*Citizens considering travel to these locations should note the information below regarding restrictions on entry. These jurisdictions currently have quarantine requirements or other restrictions for arrivals from other jurisdictions, including Ireland.

Potential for restrictions on entering these locations:

Inclusion on the list does not imply the absence of any restrictions on arrivals in those locations. Citizens should be aware that countries continue to announce new restrictions on arrivals from abroad, including the requirement to quarantine on entry. This can include restrictions on arrivals from Ireland. The situation will continue to evolve quickly. Citizens who are considering travel to particular locations are advised to monitor news and information from the public authorities in their destination.

The latest updates will always be uploaded first to this General COVID-19 Travel Advisory. Country-specific tabs will be updated subsequently, and as quickly as possible, but this advisory is the primary source of information for the latest version of the list.

If you are considering travelling outside of Ireland:

Irish citizens travelling to locations with a ‘normal precautions’ (“green”) rating are advised to follow the public health guidelines of the local health authorities and to continue to practice physical distancing measures, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette etc. Citizens who are considering travel to these locations are also advised to monitor news and information from the public authorities in their chosen destination. This includes information regarding possible restrictions on arrival from abroad, including from Ireland. The security rating for all other locations remains unchanged at either to ‘avoid non-essential travel’ (“orange”) or to ‘do not travel’ (“red”).

The purpose of the Department’s Travel Advice is to provide information to the general public so that individuals can make informed decisions for themselves.  The COVID19 pandemic continues to accelerate internationally, and there are significant risks associated with international travel. Citizens should be aware of the possible limitations to any consular assistance that could be provided. Any citizens who are considering travel abroad are advised to monitor closely our travel advice, and to  download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. Citizens travelling abroad should also register with their local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.

Should you need to travel, you should inform yourself about any requirements in place in the destination to which you are travelling. Flight restrictions and route cancellations continue to occur worldwide and there is no guarantee that air routes will operate as scheduled. Testing and restrictions may be imposed or may already be in place in other countries. It is important to check with your insurance provider on coverage at this time.

What to do on entering Ireland from abroad:

The Irish Authorities advise anyone entering Ireland, other than those arriving from Northern Ireland or locations with a security rating of ‘normal precautions’ (“green”), to restrict their movements for 14 days. This includes citizens and residents returning to Ireland. Restricting your movements means staying indoors in one location and avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible.

All passengers arriving into Ireland from overseas are obliged to complete a mandatory COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form before arriving in Ireland. This is now an online form. Paper versions of the form are also available at points of entry into Ireland, if required. Failure to complete the form is an offence. For further details please see the Irish Government Advice Page. Exemptions are also in place for providers of essential supply chain services such as hauliers, pilots and maritime staff.

Check the Irish Government Advice Page for full information on these requirements and further advice on returning from abroad.

Where to go for more information:

We continue to make updates to our online travel advice for over 200 countries and recommend that you download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. If abroad you should register with your local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.

Overview

Security Status

We advise Irish citizens against all travel to Libya. Irish citizens in Libya are advised to leave immediately by commercial means.

Latest Travel Alert

Due to the ongoing fighting and the risk of kidnapping or terrorist attacks throughout the country, the situation in Libya remains extremely dangerous. There are reports of increased military activity in the areas surrounding Tripoli and in the city itself and all Irish citizens are advised to avoid the region.

On 23 December 2016 a domestic flight from Sabha to Tripoli was hijacked and diverted to Malta.

As Ireland has no resident Embassy in Libya, and in light of the deteriorating security situation, it is extremely unlikely that we will be able to provide any consular assistance to Irish citizens who travel to or decide to remain in Libya at this time.

Irish citizens who decide to travel to or remain in Libya are doing so at their own risk and against the advice of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. If you remain in Libya, you should exercise caution, avoid large gatherings and ensure that you have appropriate personal security measures in place, including access to money and supplies of food, water, medicine, fuel and other essentials.

Should you chose to travel against the advice of the Department of Foreign Affairs, it is essential that you ensure that your passport and those of your immediate family are valid and up to date. You should also ensure that you have all relevant travel/exit documents that may be required for your departure from Libya.

Emergency Assistance

As there is no resident Irish Embassy or Consulate in Libya and in light of the deteriorating security situation, we are extremely limited as to the level of consular assistance that can be provided to Irish citizens who decide to remain in Libya at this time.

The Embassy of Ireland in Rome, Italy, is accredited to Libya and if you phone outside of working hours, please leave a message giving name, mobile number, current location and the nature of the emergency. These messages are regularly monitored and an Embassy staff member will contact you.

EU Directive on Consular Protection

Under the EU Consular Protection Directive, Irish nationals may seek assistance from the Embassy or Consulate of any other EU member state in a country where there is no Irish Embassy or permanent representation. The EU Commission provides a list of EU member states who have representation in Tripoli, however, due to recent developments, this list may not be current. We advise contacting the Embassy that you intend seeking assistance from in advance of going there in case it is no longer open. Please exercise extreme caution in your movements around any areas where there is military activity

Our tips for safe travels

  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities
  • Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
  • Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly in an emergency, such as a natural disaster or a family emergency
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates
  • Read our Topical 'Know Before You Go' guide

Safety and Security

Safety and security

Security

Due to the ongoing fighting and the risk of kidnapping or terrorist attacks throughout the country, the situation in Libya remains very dangerous. The situation throughout the country remains dangerous and unpredictable. Fighting continues in many parts of Libya. It can be unclear in some areas which faction has control. This fighting includes extremist groups such as Ansar Al Sharia and affiliates of Da’esh and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQ-M).

We advise Irish citizens in Libya to leave immediately by commercial means.

A limited number of flights may be operating from Misrata and Maitega airports. As flight schedules may change without notice, you should contact your airline or travel company for the latest information before travelling. Land routes remain open but the security situation can change very quickly. There may be some delays and temporary closures at border crossings. We recommend checking the situation at the border immediately before intended travel.

Political Stability

The Libya Political Agreement was signed by a majority of the Libyan negotiating parties at a ceremony in Skhirat, Morocco on 17 December 2015. It is hoped that this is an important step forward, paving the way for a new unified national government in Libya. But the political and security situation remains volatile and full scale military operations involving small arms, tanks, artillery and aircraft are ongoing in several areas. There is a high risk of being caught in indiscriminate gunfire or shelling, including air strikes, in all areas where the fighting has spread.

Terrorism

There is a very high threat of terrorist attacks and of kidnap against foreigners in Libya.

Crime

There is a serious threat of crime targeted against foreigners in Libya including theft, kidnappings and carjacking. Irish citizens are advised to move around the country with extreme caution.

Some general precautions to protect yourself from crime while in Libya include:

  • 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.

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.

Muslim culture

Local laws reflect the fact that Libya is a Muslim country. You should respect local customs and sensitivities, especially during the holy month of Ramadan. You are advised to dress conservatively at all times, covering arms, shoulders and legs.

During Ramadan, Muslims are not permitted to eat, drink or smoke during daylight hours. To avoid offence, you should not eat, drink or smoke in public during this time.

The working week is from Sunday to Thursday.

Illegal drugs

Penalties for drug offences are severe and include the death penalty or life imprisonment.

Alcohol

The sale and consumption of alcohol is against the law and there are stern penalties imposed for the possession or use of alcohol. You should on no account attempt to bring alcohol into the country.

Personal identification

You must carry identification documents at all times.

Law enforcement

Severe penalties are imposed for criticising the country, its leadership or religion.

Sexual behaviour

Homosexuality is considered a criminal offence in Libya. Sexual relations outside marriage are also punishable by law. Caution and discretion are advised at all times.

Photography

Photography close to military or official personnel or sites is illegal and may result in arrest or detention.

Driving

Travel by road is extremely dangerous in Libya, due to serious fighting on most of the routes in and out of Tripoli, to the West and East and to the borders with neighbouring countries.

Due to the threat of violence, the Embassy advises against travel by car in Libya.  However should you chose to drive in Libya, be extremely careful and follow these basic guidelines:

  • Bring your full Irish driver’s licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance.
  • 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 out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights

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).

Additional Information

Additional information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

Irish citizens need a visa for travel to Libya. Contact the nearest Libyan Embassy for more information on visa requirements.

Passports

Passports must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your intended departure and should not bear an Israeli visa or border stamp.

Libya has introduced a requirement for all passports to contain an Arabic translation of the personal details page. The Passport Office and some Irish missions can provide a template in Arabic to which your personal details can be added by a translator.

The translator should place his/her seal on the translation. Translations must be afixed in the passport; a separate document will not be accepted. Please make contact with the Passport Office or your nearest Irish Embassy for further information.

Registration

All tourists and short stay visitors must register their passports with the police within one week of arrival. If you’re travelling with a tour group or travel agent this is normally arranged for you. Failure to comply with this requirement may lead to you being fined when you come to leave the country.

Health

Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for Libya.

Money

Libya is a cash-based society. Credit cards are not widely used and there are few reliable ATMs. Travellers’ cheques are not accepted.

Foreign currency

All tourists (regardless of age) must have a minimum amount of foreign currency, equivalent to 1,000 US Dollars, when they enter the country. If you don’t have sufficient funds, you may be deported and the airline who carried you may be fined.

You may be required to prove that you meet this requirement to an Immigration Officer when you arrive in Libya. Some visitors who are travelling for purposes other than tourism are exempted from this requirement; contact the nearest Libyan Embassy for further details.

 

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

If you are in need of emergency assistance, please ring the Embassy at (+39) 06 5852 381 and leave a message on the answering machine.

The answering machine is monitored regularly, and the Duty Officer will contact you as soon as possible

Embassy of Ireland
Villa Spada
Via Giacomo Medici
1-00153 Roma
Italy

Tel: +39 06 585 2381
Fax: +39 06 581 3336

Monday – Friday 9:15am to 1:00pm & 2:15pm to 5:30pm

Contact us