Fire and rescue services
We now advise:
Do not travel to Lebanon due to the volatile security situation and the risk of the security situation deteriorating further.
We now advise:
Do not travel to Lebanon due to the volatile security situation and the risk of the security situation deteriorating further.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
If you're an Australian citizen or permanent resident in Lebanon you can register on DFAT's crisis registration portal. We’ll be contacting registered Australians directly with important updates and registration will make it easier for DFAT to contact you if assistance is required.
More information on returning to Australia can be found at Information for Australians in Lebanon, including Traveller Emergency Loans (TEL) if you can't afford the cost of flights.
Keep your registration details up to date so we can contact you.
You should only register if you’re in Lebanon and are:
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER on DFAT's crisis registration portal.
Applying for visa to Australia
If you're affected by the security situation in Lebanon and need to depart urgently, information on how family members of Australians can apply for a visa to Australia is available here: Lebanon Visa Support (also available in Arabic). The Department of Home Affairs is prioritising visa assessments for people who need to leave Lebanon urgently.
We continue to advise Do Not Travel to Lebanon due to the volatile security situation and the risk of the security situation deteriorating further.
Daily military action is occurring in southern Lebanon, including rocket and missile fire, as well as airstrikes. The situation could escalate quickly. This could affect your ability to move to safety. Avoid areas where military activity is ongoing.
There is a possibility of an increase in armed conflict that could affect wider areas of Lebanon. If the security situation in Lebanon deteriorates, it’s likely that Beirut airport would close, and you may not be able to leave for an extended period. Australians in Lebanon who wish to leave, should leave now while commercial flights remain available. If the security situation deteriorates and there is armed conflict, the Australian Government may not be able to assist you to leave in such circumstances. See our advice on armed conflict.
To be well prepared to leave quickly, make sure you have:
If violence increases, roads and highways could become blocked. This includes routes to airports and borders.
Follow the advice of local authorities, including alerts to seek shelter. Monitor local media for updates.
If you need emergency consular assistance, contact the Australian Government's Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 62613305 (from overseas) or 1300 555 135 (in Australia).
Be extra cautious. The security situation is unpredictable and is affected by events including:
The ongoing crisis has reduced Lebanese law enforcement capacity.
The security situation in the region remains unpredictable and could deteriorate with little or no warning.
Political changes in the region and international events may prompt large demonstrations or violence. Planned and on-the-spot demonstrations can take place.
Anti-government protests occur. Protests may target key institutions and sites, including banks. Some can be large and escalate into violent clashes between protesters and security forces.
Authorities use various measures to break up crowds, including:
These measures have resulted in injuries.
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent, including the use of weapons. You could be caught in violence directed at others.
During civil unrest and times of heightened tensions:
If you're in an area affected by clashes:
Stay indoors during celebratory gunfire, which has caused casualties, and often happens during and after political speeches, weddings, funerals and religious and new year holidays.
If transport disruptions affect your travel plans, contact your airline, travel agent or insurer for help.
Leave Lebanon if you're concerned about your safety.
In times of civil unrest, avoid areas of Beirut where protests are known to occur.
In Beirut, protests sometimes close main highways. Burning of tyres to block main roads is common. Groups protest against:
Civil unrest can affect the highways between central Beirut and the international airport. Armed clashes have occurred in some areas of Beirut.
Don't go to the Dahiyeh region, including:
This area does not include the main airport highway (Hafez El Assad).
Security in the area is still unstable. You may be caught up in violent attacks between armed groups. Terrorist attacks may occur.
Don't visit Palestinian refugee camps in any part of Lebanon.
Extremist groups operate inside camps. The security situation is uncertain and could get worse without warning.
The Lebanese state has no formal security presence in the camps. Armed clashes between rival groups happen. Violent crime is common.
Also avoid the general vicinity around the camps when there's heightened tension or armed clashes. Stray ammunition has caused casualties.
Don't go to Tripoli's Jabal Mohsen and Bab-al-Tabbaneh neighbourhoods. Violent clashes in the early stages of the Syrian conflict killed more than 200 people. The risk of civil unrest remains high and can turn violent.
In 2019, a lone wolf terrorist attack in Tripoli killed 4 members of the security service.
Lebanese authorities say extremists have taken refuge in northern Lebanon, including throughout the Akkar district.
Don't go to the north-eastern Beka'a Valley region, extending east and north from Rayak. This includes:
Clashes between Lebanese security forces and militants are possible.
Take extra care in the Beka'a valley, south of Zahle and Rayak, where the security environment is uncertain.
In August 2016, a roadside bomb exploded in Zahle. It killed 2 people and injured many others.
Don't travel within 5km of the border with Syria, including:
The conflict in Syria has led to repeated violent incidents in these areas.
Don't travel south of the Litani River, except to the city of Tyre. The threat of armed conflict is high.
Daily military action is occurring and could escalate quickly. This could affect your ability to move to safety.
Avoid crowds and large gatherings. You could be caught up in violence directed at others.
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) maintains peacekeeping activities south of the Litani River.
Tyre has experienced recent security incidents due to political tensions. If you visit Tyre:
When entering and exiting Tyre, don't stray from the main highway north of the city (Highway 51).
Israeli forces are in the southern border town of Ghajar. There are still tensions in the surrounding region, including the Shebaa Farms, where military activities have taken place. Shelling has been reported.
Although the presence of Lebanese Armed Forces and United Nations peacekeeping forces in southern Lebanon has improved security, more clashes could occur. The situation could change quickly.
You could be caught up in violence directed at others.
Avoid areas where military activity is ongoing. Be ready to leave at short notice.
Be extra careful in the city of Sidon. It has a history of violence between Lebanese armed forces and local militia.
Don't visit the Palestinian refugee camp of Ein El-Hilweh. Use of heavy weapons and snipers has been reported there. Many people have been killed or injured.
Also avoid the general vicinity around the Ein El-Hilweh camp when there's heightened tension or armed clashes. Stray ammunition has caused casualties.
There's a threat of terrorism in Lebanon. Attacks could occur anytime and anywhere, including in Beirut. Tactics used by terrorists can include car bombing, suicide bombing and rocket fire. Foreigners may be targeted.
Security services are on a high state of alert and continue to carry out operations to prevent attacks.
If you notice a security operation is underway, leave the area straight away.
Targets associated with the Lebanese Government include:
UNIFIL has also been targeted.
Terrorist may also target areas frequented by foreigners, such as:
Extremists have increased attacks in the lead-up to and on days of national and religious significance.
Always be alert to possible threats, especially in public places.
Report any suspicious items or activities to police.
To reduce your risks:
If there's a terrorist attack:
Don't gather in groups after an attack. This also applies if you're evacuated from a building for security reasons.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Kidnapping happens with political, ideological and criminal motives. Targets have included foreigners.
Always be alert to your personal security and surroundings.
The Australian Government's longstanding policy is that it doesn't make payments or concessions to kidnappers.
Crime in Lebanon has increased due to the declining economic situation.
It could include:
Always be aware of your surroundings.
You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you’re connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or to Bluetooth.
Social media can also be risky in destinations where there are social or political tensions, or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media.
Lebanon is in an active earthquake zone.
Bush and forest fires occur in the summer months (July to September), especially in heavily forested areas. Avoid fire-affected areas. Monitor the media for updates.
Sand and dust storms are common. They may pose health risks, especially to people with breathing problems.
If a natural disaster or severe weather happens:
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave.
Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
You'll probably need a specialised insurance policy that covers travel to high-risk destinations.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many thousands of dollars upfront for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
If you have immediate concerns for your welfare, or the welfare of another Australian, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.
Shortages of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies can occur without notice.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or controlled substances, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Lebanon. Take enough legal medicine for your trip.
Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
Health risks include possible water contamination, waterborne illnesses and air pollution caused by burning waste and exhaust fumes from diesel generators. Drink only boiled or bottled water from bottles with sealed lids. Drink only boiled or bottled water from bottles with sealed lids.
The standard of medical facilities and care in many of Lebanon's large private hospitals is generally as good as in Australia. However, the public health system doesn't work in the same way. Most reputable hospitals are private and expensive.
The ability of some hospitals to provide medical care may be impacted by the economic situation, shortages of medical supplies and frequent power cuts.
Doctors usually accept upfront cash payment for services. Treatment can be expensive.
Before treating patients, hospitals usually require a guarantee of payment such as:
The American University of Beirut Medical Center has a decompression chamber.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
Crimes under Lebanese laws may not be considered offences in Australia. Religious law has the same standing as civil law, which incorporates family law, marriage, divorce and custody.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
All family law matters are based on local religious laws. This includes child custody and divorce decisions.
If you're involved in custody or other family disputes, speak to a lawyer before you leave Australia. Ask for advice on how religious law may affect your family circumstances.
Lebanon has not signed the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. There is no quick method to return a child abducted by a parent to Lebanon back to Australia.
Lebanese nationals and non-nationals can stop family members from leaving Lebanon if there are pending family court matters. It won't matter if the family members are Australian citizens.
Authorities have stopped Australians and Australian-Lebanese dual nationals, including mothers with children, from leaving Lebanon. Relatives have legally placed border alerts ('stop orders') where there are pending family court matters. Stop orders are not difficult to arrange. Overturning stop orders can be a time consuming and complicated process.
The Australian Government can't prevent or overturn a stop order on an Australian citizen.
Penalties for drug offences are severe and include mandatory jail terms.
Serious crimes, such as murder and treason, may attract the death penalty.
Access to some areas of Lebanon is restricted.
Authorities may detain you and take your camera if you photograph or film:
Same-sex relations are illegal in Lebanon. Penalties include jail terms of up to one year.
There's been an increase in anti-LGBTI rhetoric in the community. Some incidents of targeted harassment have occurred.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Australians may be charged under Australian law if they take part in conflict in other countries.
Lebanon recognises dual nationality. However, Lebanese citizenship takes precedence over the second nationality.
If you're a dual national, Lebanese authorities will treat you as a Lebanese citizen. This may limit the consular services we can provide if you're arrested or detained.
If you're a dual citizen re-entering Lebanon on your Lebanese passport or identity document, make sure:
Standards of dress and behaviour are modest in parts of Lebanon, particularly at religious sites.
Take care not to offend. If in doubt, seek local advice.
Public displays of affection may cause offence in conservative and religious areas.
Some hotels ask for proof of marriage before renting rooms to couples. Hotels may refuse you accommodation if you can't provide proof.
The Islamic holiday month of Ramadan is observed in Lebanon. Respect religious and cultural customs and laws during this time.
Avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public or in front of people who are fasting.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering.
You can get a tourist visa on arrival.
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the nearest Lebanese embassy or consulate for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders.
Make sure you meet all entry and exit conditions. If you don't, the Australian Government can't help you.
For measures regarding travel between Syria and Lebanon, contact Lebanese and Syrian authorities.
Travel to Israel
It's against Lebanese law to travel to Israel.
If you're an Australian dual national of Lebanon or another Arab nation and you've travelled or intend to travel to Israel, authorities are likely to arrest and imprison you.
Authorities can hold anyone for questioning for several days and then deport them.
If there's evidence that you've travelled to Israel, or intend to, you will be refused entry to Lebanon or will be deported. Evidence includes:
Lebanese Border Control checks all traveller names on arrival and departure against a database of border alerts (stop orders).
Border alerts are raised if there are pending court cases or warrants for people:
If your name matches an entry in the database, authorities may detain you. You'll have to prove the record doesn't relate to you.
Carry supporting identity documents.
Travellers have been detained due to cases of mistaken identity.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
Although Australian passports comply with international standards for sex and gender, we can’t guarantee that a passport showing 'X' in the sex field will be accepted for entry or transit by another country. Contact the nearest embassy, high commission or consulate of your destination before you arrive at the border to confirm if authorities will accept passports with 'X' gender markers.
The Lebanese Pound is the official currency of Lebanon. Both the USD and the Lebanese Pound (also known as the Lebanese Lira) are accepted throughout Lebanon.
Currency exchange facilities and ATMs are widely available in Beirut and other large cities. But not all ATMs give out USD, and daily withdrawal limits may apply.
Some banks and money transfer companies only hand out the Lebanese Pound for international remittances received. Check with the money transfer and exchange service for the latest updates, as arrangements may change with little notice.
The Lebanese Pound has devalued sharply as a result of the ongoing economic crisis. This has led to high inflation and diminished the purchasing power of the Lebanese Pound. Make sure you have access to enough hard currency cash during your stay. Contact your bank and monitor media reports before you travel to Lebanon.
Fuel and power shortages frequently occur, disrupting public water supply and telecommunication networks, including mobile and internet.
Expect delays and closures at service stations during fuel shortages. Acts of violence and security incidents have occurred at fuel distribution and storage sites.
Public and private sector industrial strikes occur occasionally, which may affect essential services, including telecommunications and the banking sector.
Shortages of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies can occur without notice.
Monitor the media for updates on changes that may affect your safety and access to essential services.
If you plan to drive in Lebanon, you should hold an International Drivers Permit.
Armed security is present throughout Lebanon, including at road checkpoints.
Always carry ID. Follow the advice of security personnel.
Driving can be dangerous due to:
There are many unexploded weapons throughout Lebanon, including:
Most are in the south, especially south of the Litani River.
Minefields aren't always clearly marked. Those that are marked can shift away from signed areas.
To protect yourself from landmines:
Roads may be blocked during demonstrations and civil unrest. This includes routes to and from the airport and border crossings.
Don't use service (shared) taxis or taxis hailed on the street, especially late at night.
Only use taxis from recognised companies. Australian Embassy staff in Beirut have been advised to use Allo Taxi.
Flights to and from Lebanon may fly over Syria, where ongoing conflict could increase risks to civil aviation. Civil aviation authorities in a number of countries do not allow airlines from those countries to fly in Syrian airspace. For more information, refer to the Smartraveller page on air travel and check with airlines before booking. Flight paths are subject to change. Check with your airline or travel agent for updates and flight options.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Transport and tour operators don't always follow safety and maintenance standards. This includes for adventure activities.
If you plan to do an adventure activity:
If proper safety equipment isn't available, use another provider.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
Call 140 or 81715076.
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
For consular assistance, contact the Australian Embassy in Beirut.
24-hour Consular Emergency Centre
In a consular emergency outside of the Embassy’s business hours, or if you can’t contact the Embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre (CEC) on:
Be the first to know official government advice when travelling.