Britain advises against all but essential travel to Lebanon

·1-min read
Passengers walk through the International arrivals area of Terminal 5 in London's Heathrow Airport

LONDON (Reuters) -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".

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; writing by Kate Holton, editing by Estelle Shirbon)

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