Lebanon

Lebanon

Use High Level of Caution
Avoid Travel to the following municipalities: Tripoli, Zahlé, Rachaya, Hermel, Bekaa-West, Baalbek, Marjayoun, and Hasbaya

The Republic of Lebanon is located in the Middle East between Syria and Israel and has a long coastal border on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon's population is about 4.1 million people.

The government is a republic, with a special system referred to as confessionalism. This system strives for fair representation of the country's 18 recognized religious groups. The chief of state is a president, and the head of government is a prime minister.

Prior to the 15-year civil war (1975-1990), Lebanon was stable and prosperous, along with a strong economy fueled by tourism, banking, and agriculture. The capital, Beirut, was once known as “the Paris of the Middle East,” and the country was known as the “Switzerland of the East.” After the civil war, the Lebanese made great efforts to rebuild the country and renew the economy. Lebanon again had stability until 2006 when the Israel-Lebanon conflict led to much civilian death and heavy damage to the country's infrastructure.

Lebanon recovered from this conflict; and while the world was experiencing global economic crises, Lebanon experienced economic growth of about 7 percent in 2009 and 2010 along with a huge increase in tourism.

Recent incidents in the southern area of Lebanon continue to threaten the country's safety and security.

Currency LBP: Lebanese pound
Language Arabic. Also widely spoken are French, English and Armenian.
Capital Beirut
Recent Alerts None
Latest Alert Not Available

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Lebanon. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Lebanon through contaminated food or water. Infection can still occur at tourist destinations and resorts.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Lebanon.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Lebanon, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Leishmaniasis

Leishmaniasis occurs most commonly in the north in the Akkar region. The risk of acquiring leishmaniasis is increased in travellers who spend time outdoors in rural areas and at night, when sand flies typically feed.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in this country. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Schistosomiasis

This disease is present in this country and is acquired through contact with fresh water, such as swimming, bathing, or rafting. Well-chlorinated swimming pools and contact with saltwater in oceans or seas will not put travellers at risk for schistosomiasis.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Lebanon.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities or rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Lebanon.

None required.

Safety and Security in Lebanon

Emergency Numbers

112

Personal Safety

The security situation in Lebanon is unpredictable and there is a strong security forces presence in Lebanon. Travellers should carry their documentation with them at all times and obey security personnel.

Petty crime, such as car theft and break-ins, occurs in Lebanon. Ensure valuables and travel documents are secure at all times.

Kidnapping of foreigners occurs in Lebanon. Travellers should exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings and personal safety at all times.

Unmarked land mines are a threat in Lebanon, particularly in the south. Travellers should stay on roads and obey posted landmine warnings.

Travellers should be aware that some areas are controlled by groups other than Lebanese authorities, particularly Hezbollah in the southern suburbs of Beirut, southern Lebanon and several other areas.

Recent sectarian conflict in northern Lebanon between groups that support and oppose the government in the Syrian civil war has decreased personal security for all travellers.

Areas To Avoid

The following areas should be avoided:

The Bekaa Valley and the southern suburbs of Beirut, including the neighbourhoods of Ghobeiry, Chuya,Haret, Hraik, Burj Al Brajne, Mraije, Er Rouais and Laylake, due to the risk of kidnapping of foreigners.

The Tripoli neighbourhoods of Jabal Mohsen and Bab al Tabbaneh due to violent community clashes.

The Hermel Area, including Arsal, Baalbek.

All areas of the Syrian border.

Areas south of the Litani River, including areas near the border with Israel due to military conflict. Lebanon and Israel have not agreed on an international border and areas around the border are heavily mined.

It is strongly advised that travel to Palestinian refugee camps be avoided due to the unpredictable nature of the security situation and the frequent incidents of violence within some camps. Refugee camps are sometimes located near urban areas and are not always labelled. Travellers should be aware of their surroundings as they may accidentally enter a refugee camp.

Extreme Violence

The risk of terrorism is high in Lebanon. Attacks have occurred throughout the country in the past few years, involving residential armed conflict, grenade attacks, bombings, assassinations, shelling, and unofficial roadblocks and checkpoints. These attacks have occurred in public places and commercial establishments frequented by foreigners. Travellers should remain vigilant and maintain a high degree of caution as terrorist incidents can occur without warning.

Political Unrest

Demonstrations and armed conflict occur often in Lebanon. Travellers should avoid these and all other political gatherings as they can become violent with little warning.

Travellers should monitor the local security situation in Lebanon as it is subject to change.

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