Libya Register Travel insurance Destinations
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Latest updates: Laws and culture - Ramadan 2020
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
Safety and security
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:
- Keep emergency provisions such as water and food
- Keep up to date on the security situation
- Make sure that your travel documents are in order
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Shelter in place until it is safe to leave the area
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:
- government buildings, including schools and embassies
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
- foreign officials, diplomats and aid workers
- teachers and other private-sector workers
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.
The political situation is extremely fragile. Formal state security structures have largely collapsed.
Sporadic clashes between armed groups continue to occur in all regions of Libya and with no warning.
Demonstrations occur. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
There is a high threat of kidnapping in Libya. Foreigners are common targets. Maintain a high level of vigilance at all times.
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.
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.
The risk of encountering unexploded ordnance and indiscriminately laid landmines is high wherever fighting has occurred. Exercise caution in these areas.
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.
Be cautious when using taxis. Negotiate fares prior to departure. Taxi drivers have been complicit in robberies targeting their passengers.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
- There are no updates at this time.
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 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 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.
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 is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world.
Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
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.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.
- 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 Centres in Canada
* 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 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 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 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 and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
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.
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
Laws & 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.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect detention or other penalties.
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.
Firearms, religious materials, antiquities, medications and currencies are subject to strict customs regulations.
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.
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.
Islamic practices and beliefs are closely adhered to in the country’s customs, laws and regulations.
- Dress conservatively
- Behave discreetly
- Respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities.
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.
Officials may confiscate your passport if you are involved in a business dispute.
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
Natural disasters & 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.
There is no centralized number to reach emergency services. Research and carry contact information for local police and medical facilities.
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
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. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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