International Travel and COVID-19

Before travelling:

If you have not completed a COVID-19 vaccine series, you should continue to avoid non-essential travel to all destinations.

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Libya Travel Advice

Last updated: ET

Latest updates: Laws and culture - Update on the start date of Ramadan in 2023

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Risk level

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.

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Safety and security

COVID-19 - Preventative measures and restrictions

COVID-19 preventative measures and restrictions are still in effect in some destinations.

These could include:

  • curfews, movement restrictions, or lockdowns
  • mandatory mask use
  • required proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test result to access public and private services and spaces

Before travelling, verify if specific restrictions or requirements are still in effect.

Foreign Representatives in Canada

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:

  • government buildings, including schools and embassies
  • places of worship
  • airports and other transportation hubs and networks
  • checkpoints
  • 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.

Political situation

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

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:

  • 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

Emergency consular assistance

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.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

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.

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Entry and exit requirements

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

Most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory due to COVID-19. These measures can be imposed suddenly and may include:

  • entry or exit bans
  • quarantine
  • mandatory proof of vaccination or COVID-19 testing
  • suspensions or reductions of international transportation options

Foreign authorities might not recognize or accept proof of vaccination issued by Canadian provinces and territories. You may need to obtain a translation, a notarization, an authentication, or the legalization of the document.

Before travelling:

  • verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any restrictions or requirements related to this situation
  • consider even your transit points, as there are transit rules in place in many destinations
  • monitor the media for the latest information
  • reconfirm the requirements with your airline or tour operator

The situation could disrupt your travel plans. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance to change your travel plans.

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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 the Foreign Representatives 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

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

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 foreign representative for your destination.

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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).

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Health

Related Travel Health Notices
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.

COVID-19

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

For destination entry and exit requirements, including for COVID-19 vaccination requirements, please check the Entry/exit requirements section.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

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*

  • Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is not recommended.

 

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/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

COVID-19 - Testing

Contact local health authorities, or the nearest Government of Canada office abroad to find out where you can get a COVID-19 test.

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.

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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.

  • Dress conservatively
  • Behave discreetly
  • Respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities.

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Libya.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Libya by an abducting parent:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Libya to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.

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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.

In 2023, the lunar month of Ramadan is expected to begin on or around March 22.

In public, between sunrise and sunset, be discreet when :

  • drinking
  • eating
  • smoking

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.

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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.

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Need help?

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

Due to the ongoing pandemic, our consular services could be limited. Contact us by email or telephone before visiting our offices.

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.tunisia.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.

Disclaimer

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, expressed 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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