Skip to main content

Lebanon

If you’re travelling to Lebanon, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Climate
  • Additional Information
  • Embassy Contact

Overview

General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation

For the latest update please read the General COVID-19 Travel Advisory >

Overview

Security status

Avoid non-essential travel

Security Status Last Updated: 17 March 2020

Latest Travel Alert

Covid-19 is still a threat, but with continued public health measures, vaccination and testing, it will be possible to travel internationally. You will need to plan your travel carefully and there are risks.

There is an ongoing outbreak of a COVID-19 in many countries around the world,including Lebanon.

All persons entering Lebanon, except for children under twelve years of age, are required to take a PCR test at a laboratory certified by local authorities within 96 hours prior to travel. They must present this result at check-in before proceeding to immigration. If the test result is positive, the passenger will be prohibited from boarding.

All passengers travelling to Lebanon must fill this health declaration form online before departure, as required by the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health.

Upon arrival in Lebanon, all persons must also undergo another PCR test at the airport. From 11 January, all passengers must quarantine at a designated hotel (see here) for which they have made a pre-paid booking, for up to 72 hours until receiving a negative result from the airport PCR test.  After leaving hotel quarantine,  passengers must then self-isolate for a week from their date of arrival and then undergo a further PCR test. If you test positive, the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health will provide further guidance. Those arriving from Baghdad, Istanbul, Adana, Cairo and Addis Ababa are required to stay in their hotel for one week, with the second PCR test on the sixth day after arrival. 

The Lebanese authorities have put in place a number of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19:

  • A nation-wide lockdown came into effect from Thursday 7 January 2021 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A State of Emergency has also been declared from 14 – 25 January. Movement is completely prohibited until 25 January at 5am and you must not leave your accommodation. Pharmacies will observe reduced hours and grocery stores will be open for delivery only. 
  • Beirut’s Rafic Hariri International Airport reopened on 1 July 2020. However, from Monday 11 January 2021, the number of incoming passengers allowed into the airport will be reduced to 20% compared to January 2020.
  •  People travelling to Beirut will be required to comply with testing and self-isolation measures to reduce the spread of covid-19. Check with the airline and Lebanese embassy before booking. Any passenger who shows symptoms of COVID-19, will not be allowed to board the aircraft.

If you are currently in Lebanon and think you have COVID-19 symptoms you should self-isolate. You should call the Lebanese Ministry of Health Coronavirus Hotline on 1787 if you require further advice. The 24 hour number for those with COVID-19 who require hospitalisation is +961 (0) 1832 700. Irish nationals in Lebanon should comply with local restrictions and monitor local media for updates.

Some countries are imposing restrictions on travel from Lebanon. If you are travelling from Lebanon, you should check the situation at your destination before you travel.

Additional information on COVID-19 can be found via the following links:

Ministry of Public Health - Lebanon

WHO - World Health Organisation

ECDC - European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

HPSC - Health Protection Surveillance Centre

HSE – Health Service Executive

General Travel Advice 

On 4 August 2020 a large explosion occurred in the port area of Beirut causing widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure in the city and surrounding areas. Damage both at the port and in areas close to the port remains an ongoing hazard and could pose a risk to your personal safety. 

There is an increased risk of protests and demonstrations. If you are currently in Beirut, you should avoid the immediate area of the incident and any protests, remain vigilant and follow the advice of the local authorities.

There is significant disruption to services across the city and many hospitals are only taking emergency cases. The airport remains operational.

The best help is often close at hand; try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

There is no Irish Embassy in Lebanon, so we are limited in the help we can provide in the event of an emergency. You can contact the Embassy of Ireland in Cairo if you require assistance or advice. Irish citizens with a genuine emergency can leave a voicemail message on the outside of office hours. Make sure to leave your name, mobile number, current location and the nature of the emergency. An Embassy Duty Officer will return your call.

EU Directive on Consular Protection

Under the EU Consular Protection Directive, Irish nationals may seek assistance from the Embassy or Consulate of any other EU member state in a country where there is no Irish Embassy or permanent representation.

Travel to Ireland

Up to date information on travelling to Ireland can be found on gov.ie 

Information on Travel within Europe (EU/EEA) can also be found on Re-open EU.

 

Safety and Security

Safety and security

Political unrest

The political situation in Lebanon is fragile and has the potential to deteriorate quickly. Regional developments also have the potential to trigger popular unrest.

If you’re in Lebanon, we advise you to exercise extreme caution and to consider your need to remain there, to monitor this travel advice and the local media for updates on the situation.

Regional tensions

Political tensions and security concerns are heightened at present as a result of unrest in neighbouring Syria and the wider region. Syrian military forces have made several incursions into Lebanese territory. Protests, sectarian violence and kidnappings of foreigners have occurred throughout the country, particularly in the northern city of Tripoli.

Terrorism

There have been a number of attacks by al Qaeda-linked militants, mainly in the south. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and Lebanese Government interests, particularly the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), have been targeted for attacks by some of the militant groups, some of these involving fatalities.

Landmines

Unexploded ordnance, particularly in the South, and in the Bekaa Valley, is a risk. Don’t stray off main routes, particularly in rural areas, and always check with your local contact before travelling to affected regions.

Kidnapping

Foreign nationals can be potential targets for kidnapping throughout Lebanon, particularly in the northern city of Tripoli and Baalbek or other parts of the Bekaa Valley, where we strongly advise you to keep to the main roads and larger towns.

Protests and Demonstrations

Protest and demonstrations can turn violent with little warning. We strongly advise all Irish citizens in Lebanon to avoid all protests and demonstrations. If caught up in a demonstration Irish citizens should not attempt to take photos and should leave the area immediately.

Crime

The risk to tourists from petty or violent crime is low in Lebanon, though vehicle crime is on the increase. You should always take sensible precautions: 

  • Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place. 
  • Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
  • Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you’re alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business.
  • Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, and arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible.
  • Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafés, train and bus stations.

Reporting crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in Lebanon, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact the Honorary Consul in Beirut or the Irish Embassy in Cairo if you need help.

Driving

If you’re planning to drive in Lebanon, you should be extremely careful as the accident rate is high and road standards are variable. If you want to drive:

  • Bring your full Irish driver’s licence and your international driving permit and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance. Your international driving permit must be certified by authorities on arrival
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught
  • Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights
  • Avoid driving outside the main cities at night

Road closures

The road to the airport can be closed sporadically due to various factors, including local sectarian clashes, civil unrest in Syria and protests against government policies.

Diesel engines

If you’re driving your own car in Lebanon, be aware that vehicles with diesel engines are now banned.

Hiring a vehicle

If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

 

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.

Muslim culture

Although Lebanon may seem less conservative than its neighbours in the region, we recommend you dress modestly when visiting sites of religious significance, and areas outside the main cities.

Ramadan

During the holy month of Ramadan, avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public in certain areas as this may cause offence.

Illegal drugs

Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms. 

Local laws

While you’re in Lebanon, you’re subject to local laws, including ones that may seem harsh by Irish standards. For example, the laws around custody of children are significantly different to those in force in Ireland, so if you’re a parent, you should be aware of your legal position.

If you have to deal with any legal matters in Lebanon, particularly about family law, we strongly advise you to get professional legal advice.

Photography

It’s against the law to photograph or video government buildings or military personnel, equipment and installations.

Climate

Climate

The temperature in certain areas of Lebanon during the summer months in some areas can reach over 40 degrees Celsius and you should drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

Earthquake

Lebanon is in an active earthquake zone. If you’re travelling to or living in Lebanon, make sure you know what to do in the event of an earthquake.

Forest fires

Bush and forest fires are common during the summer months in Lebanon (usually June to September) particularly in heavily-forested areas. Follow local reports closely for warnings of forest fires and avoid any areas that may have fire warnings in place.

Sand storms

Sand and dust storms are also common so follow local reports closely for warnings.

Additional Information

Additional information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

Irish citizens need a visa to enter Lebanon, which is usually available on arrival to tourists travelling on ordinary passports. If you want more information on the entry requirements for Lebanon, ask your travel agent or contact the nearest Embassy of Lebanon in London.

You can also check with them how long your passport must be valid for.

Regional travel

Having Israeli stamps in your passport or entry/exit stamps from Egypt’s and Jordan’s borders with Israel will prevent your entry into Lebanon.

Health

Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need an vaccinations for Lebanon.

Water

In general, tap water is not safe to drink. Bottled water is cheap and readily available.

 

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

We do not have an Embassy in Lebanon, please contact Embassy of Ireland Egypt.

If you are an Irish citizen and in need of emergency assistance outside of normal office hours, then you can contact us on the following emergency number: +20 1274443942

Alternatively, the Duty Officer at the Department of Foreign Affairs can be contacted at +353 1 408 2000.

Embassy of Ireland
18 Hassan Sabry Street
Zamalek
Cairo
Egypt

Tel: +202 27287100
Fax: +202 27362863

Monday to Friday 09:30-12:30

Contact us

Honorary Consulate Contact

Mr. Georges H. Siam
Badaro 2000 Building 1st Floor
Badaro Street
Badaro-Beirut
Lebanon

Tel: + 961 139 5005
Fax: + 961 139 2005

Email: Email us