Britain on Tuesday advised against all but essential travel to Lebanon due to ongoing instability, a fresh blow to the country in the middle of a financial and economic meltdown.
The World Bank has said Lebanon is enduring one of the deepest depressions of modern history, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and a massive explosion at Beirut’s port that destroyed large parts of the city.
“The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) now advises against all but essential travel to Lebanon, except for those areas to which the FCDO advises against all travel,” it said in a statement.
The government’s website shows it advises against all travel to Palestinian refugee camps, areas within 5km of the border with Syria and the Hermel Area.
Tourism, historically a major component of Lebanon’s economy, has dramatically declined since late 2019.
Lebanon’s tourism minister recently unveiled a new slogan to attract travellers into the country, aiming to portray the precarity of life there as a point of pride. The phrase roughly translates as “I love you in your madness”.