Libya

Libya

Avoid Travel

Libya is a country in northern Africa that shares borders with the countries of Tunisia, Algeria, Niger, Chad, Sudan, and Egypt and has a coastline on the Mediterranean Sea. The population is about 6.2 million people. There is a transitional government with a president as chief of state and prime minister as head of government.

Libya was an Italian colony from about 1911 until World War II when the Italians and Germans were defeated in the North African Campaign. In a peace treaty in 1947 with the Allies, Libya gained independence from Italy. In 1969, Muammar Gaddafi staged a military coup, ousted the king, and began a system that combined Islam and socialism.

Civil unrest erupted in 2011, and the government’s crackdown on the protests led to a civil war. Gadaffi was killed in October 2011, ending his 42-year rule. In 2012, Libyans voted in the first free national elections in about 60 years, and elected a General National Congress. However, at the time of writing, political instability and lack of security are significant problems for this country.

Travellers to this country can visit oasis towns, ancient ruins, and five UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Currency LYD: Libyan dinar
Language Arabic: with Italian and English widely spoken
Capital Tripoli
Recent Alerts None
Latest Alert Not Available

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Libya. 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 Libya through contaminated food or water.

Hepatitis B

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

Typhoid Fever

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

Yellow Fever

There is no risk for yellow fever in this country. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travellers over 1 year of age arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in Libya. 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.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis occurs in Libya. Travellers to Libya are at risk for tuberculosis if visiting sick friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Vaccinations to Consider

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

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.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

There is no risk for yellow fever in this country. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travellers over 1 year of age arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

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 Libya.

None required.

Safety and Security in Libya

Emergency Numbers

There is no functioning emergency telephone number in Libya. For medical emergencies, travellers would need to arrange their own transportation to a hospital.

Personal Safety

At this time, many countries advise their citizens to avoid all travel to Libya due to the unstable political situation and armed conflict.

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing, bag snatching, or other theft can occur. Always be alert to your personal safety. Keep valuables secured and out of sight. Safeguard your important documents, such as your passport. Avoid walking alone at night.

Violent crime is on the increase in Libya, including armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, murder and burglary.

Do not discuss Libyan politics.

Do not take photographs of any military installation, border crossings or government buildings.

Dress modestly to avoid unwanted attention or harassment.

There are heavy penalties for drug use or possession.

Driving can be hazardous in Libya due to lack of road signs, high speed driving, and drivers who may not follow the rules of the road.

Areas To Avoid

Avoid travel to border areas with Chad, Sudan, Algeria, and Niger due to activities of armed groups, some mined areas, and the risk of kidnapping. Due to mined areas, avoid leaving the main road along the coast and towards Nafusa.

Some countries warn against all travel outside Tripoli.

Extreme Violence

Terrorist attacks do occur in Libya.

Since December 2013, foreign nationals have been shot and killed throughout the country.

There is a high risk of kidnapping. Since the beginning of 2014, foreign nationals, including foreign diplomats, have been kidnapped in various places throughout Libya.

Political Unrest

Protests and demonstrations occur frequently in Libya. Avoid any public gathering or demonstration as these situations in any country can escalate into violence unexpectedly.

Celebratory gunfire into the air has occurred, and falling bullets have inadvertently killed some people.

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