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Libya

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Latest updates: Entry/Exit Requirements - Update on flight suspensions

Risk level(s)

COVID-19 – Global travel advisory

Effective date: March 13, 2020

Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.

This advisory overrides other risk levels on this page, with the exception of any risk levels for countries or regions where we advise to avoid all travel.

More about the Global travel advisory

Libya - AVOID ALL TRAVEL

Avoid all travel to Libya due to persistent insecurity throughout the country, including sustained armed conflict, a high risk of terrorist attacks, an unpredictable political situation and a high crime rate. Given the recent deterioration in the security situation near Tripoli, you should leave by commercial means as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Safety and security

COVID-19 - Movement restrictions

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, Libya's National Accord Government (GNA) is imposing a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. until further notice. 24h curfew is in effect on Fridays and Saturdays and travel between cities is prohibited during the curfew.

‎The Libyan National Army (LNA) curfew is in effect from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. until further notice. Some municipalities have established their own curfew hours and movement restrictions.

These measures could be reassessed or modified. Monitor local media for the latest information.

Follow the instructions of local authorities and stay inside your home or accommodations unless you need to:

Military hostilities

Since April 3, 2019, military hostilities have increased among opposing Libyan forces in the west of the country. On April 4, the Prime Minister announced a state of emergency and authorized the mobilization of military and security units loyal to the Government of National Accord.

If you are in a conflict area:

Emergency consular assistance

Terrorism

There is a risk of terrorism. Attacks can occur at any time throughout the country. Extremist groups have specifically threatened and carried out attacks against Westerners and Western interests in Libya. Further attacks are likely.

Targets could include:

The situation in Benghazi is particularly unstable and volatile. Attacks against foreign interests and foreigners occur regularly.

Be extremely vigilant and aware of your surroundings at all times in public places.

Political situation

The political situation is extremely fragile. Formal state security structures have largely collapsed.

Armed clashes

Sporadic clashes between armed groups continue to occur in all regions of Libya and with no warning.  

Demonstrations

Demonstrations occur. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Kidnapping

There is a high threat of kidnapping in Libya. Foreigners are common targets. Maintain a high level of vigilance at all times.

Border areas

You may face heightened risks at the border areas with Algeria, Chad, Niger, Sudan and Tunisia due to the presence of armed groups, the threat of banditry and an extreme kidnapping risk. Borders may close on short notice, including, in particular, the borders with Egypt and Tunisia.

Travel to the interior and to border areas without an officially sanctioned guide or specific permission from the Libyan authorities is forbidden, with the exception of official land border crossings to Egypt and Tunisia.

Crime

The crime rate is very high in Libya, where weapons are easily available and government forces do not have control of the country.

Carjackings and armed robberies are common occurrences.

Landmines

The risk of encountering unexploded ordnance and indiscriminately laid landmines is high wherever fighting has occurred. Exercise caution in these areas.

Road safety

The road system is extensive but many roads in the south are unpaved. There are only sand tracks in the desert.

Avoid all road travel in the southeast, due to the possibility of landmines, kidnapping, banditry and terrorism.

Travel on the coastal highway in the east of the country is dangerous, due to ongoing inter-factional fighting and the risk of kidnapping by extremist groups.

The rate of vehicle accidents is high. Poor driving skills, excessive speeds and traffic violations pose risks.

In the event of an accident, remain calm and contact the local police. If the accident resulted in loss of life or heavy damage, local authorities may detain motorists involved in an accident until the court case is settled.

There have been recent incidents of vehicle ambush and carjacking resulting in injuries.

Public transportation

Be cautious when using taxis. Negotiate fares prior to departure. Taxi drivers have been complicit in robberies targeting their passengers.

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

General information about foreign domestic airlines

Airports

The Tripoli International Airport has been closed since 2014.

Currently, only Mitiga (in Tripoli), Benghazi, Misrata, Al Labraq (in Baida) and Tobruk airports offer international flights. Flights are frequently cancelled; tickets must be obtained in advance, and paid for in cash on site.

Entry/exit requirements

COVID-19 - Entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements

In an attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory. While some countries have started to ease some of these measures, most remain in place.

Before travelling, verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any specific restrictions or requirements related to this situation. Consider even your transit points, as many destinations have implemented strict transit rules which could disrupt your travel.

These could include:

Additional restrictions can be imposed suddenly. Airlines can also suspend or reduce flights without notice. Your travel plans may be severely disrupted, making it difficult for you to return home. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance related to changes to your travel plans.

Foreign diplomatic offices in Canada – Global Affairs Canada

COVID-19 – Border closures and flight suspensions

Air, land and sea borders are closed and commercial flights are extremely limited until further notice.

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the Libyan authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.

Passport

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Libya.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.

Useful links

Visas

Canadians must be in possession of a visa to visit Libya. You may have difficulties obtaining a visa if your passport expires before the visa’s 6-month validity period expires.

Tourist visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required

Libyan visas are issued to residents of the country in which the application is made. Expect a 20-working-day waiting period after submitting your passport and application in person at a Libyan embassy. Mailed applications are not accepted.

Tourist visas are not usually available to individual Canadians unless they are part of an organized tour group travelling under the auspices of an accredited travel agent in Libya.

Regional travel

You may be denied entry into Libya if your passport bears an Israeli visa or border stamp.

Children and travel

Learn about travel with children.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Health

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.

Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

Rabies

Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).

Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

Risk

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
  • There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in North Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in North Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Travellers' diarrhea
  • Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
  • Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
  • The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.


Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in North Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like leishmaniasis, malaria, Rift Valley fever, and West Nile virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.


Malaria

Malaria

There is no risk of malaria in this country.


Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in North Africa, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.


Medical services and facilities

Medical facilities are limited. Some medicines are in short supply.

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

Laws and culture

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.

Illegal or restricted activities

Don’t criticize the country, its leadership or religion. Harsh penalties may be imposed.

Don’t photograph military sites or personnel.

Drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect detention or other penalties.

LGBTQ2 travellers

The laws of Libya prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. Other related offences include being in a same-sex marriage and promoting homosexuality. Convicted offenders can face life in prison or the death penalty. LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Libya.

General safety information and advice for LGBTQ2 travellers abroad

Customs

Firearms, religious materials, antiquities, medications and currencies are subject to strict customs regulations.

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Libya.

If local authorities consider you a citizen of Libya, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.

General information for travellers with dual citizenship

Authorities may seize the passports of Canadians of Libyan origin, question them and prevent them from leaving the country unless they present themselves as Libyans.

Culture

Islamic practices and beliefs are closely adhered to in the country’s customs, laws and regulations.

Child custody

Child custody decisions are based on Islamic law.

It is extremely difficult for a Canadian woman, even if she is a Muslim, to obtain custody of her children through a court decision, unless she decides to stay in Libya.

Regardless of parental marital status, children of Libyan fathers acquire Libyan citizenship at birth, and must enter and leave Libya on Libyan passports. Canadian mothers require their husband’s permission to take their Libyan children outside the country.

During the lunar month of Ramadan (the ninth month of the Muslim calendar), use discretion when drinking, eating, and smoking in public between sunrise and sunset. In 2020, Ramadan is expected to begin on or around April 23.

Business disputes

Officials may confiscate your passport if you are involved in a business dispute.

Money

The economy is primarily cash-based. The currency, the Libyan dinar (LYD), is non-convertible outside the country. Only U.S. dollars, euros, British pounds, Swiss francs and Tunisian dinars can be converted into Libyan dinars. U.S. dollars can be exchanged at official exchange counters or banks.

Adhere to the rules regarding currency declaration and exchange rates. Automated banking machines are not readily available.

Natural disasters and climate

The rainy season extends from November to March.

Temperatures can reach 40°C between June and September. The desert area can be extremely hot during the day with cool nights. Follow regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.

Assistance

Local services

Emergency services

There is no centralized number to reach emergency services. Research and carry contact information for local police and medical facilities.

Consular assistance

There is no resident Canadian government office in Libya. You can obtain consular assistance and further consular information from the Embassy of Canada to Libya in Tunis.

Tunis - Embassy of Canada
Street AddressLot 24, rue de la Feuille d’Érable, Cité des Pins, Tunis, TunisiaPostal AddressP.O. Box 48, 1053 Les Berges du Lac II, Tunis, TunisiaTelephone+216 70 010 200Fax+216 70 010 393EmailTunis.consular@international.gc.caInternetwww.tunis.gc.caServicesPassport Services AvailableFacebookEmbassy of Canada to TunisiaTwitter@CanadaTunisia

For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to Libya in Tunis and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.


The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.

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