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Libya Travel Information

The Basics

Time

Local time is GMT +2.

Electricity

Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. Round three-pin plugs are used. Power outages are common.

Language

The official language of Libya is Arabic (used for all official business), though some Italian and English is spoken, especially in the cities.

Travel Health

There are no major health risks associated with travel to Libya. Visitors travelling from infected areas require a yellow fever vaccination certificate. Travellers are encouraged to get vaccinations for hepatitis A, hepatitis B and typhoid. Healthcare facilities in Libya are basic and travellers are advised to have full health insurance. In remote areas there may be no health facilities at all, therefore travellers are advised to carry their own basic medications. Tap water in Libya is chlorinated, but it is advised that visitors drink only bottled or boiled water.

Safety Information

Libya remains unstable and unpredictable in the wake of civil war, with various extremist groups and political factions warring for control. Ports and airports have been targeted by terrorist groups. Terrorism is a real threat and travellers should be particularly alert to the kidnapping threat as foreigners have previously been targeted. The political instability has reportedly also led to an increase in crime levels.

Safety in Libya is far from certain and most government agencies advise against all travel to the country at this time.

Local Customs

Libya is an Islamic country and visitors should be respectful in terms of following Arabic customs, particularly during the month of Ramadan when eating, drinking, smoking and chewing gum in public is forbidden. Swimwear should be restricted to beaches, and women should dress modestly, and avoid Arab gatherings where women are not permitted. Homosexuality is illegal and extramarital sexual relationships are forbidden. Criticism of the Libyan Government, Islam and the country itself is not tolerated. Permission must always be sought prior to photographing people, and it is not recommended that a camera be used or carried near any official or military buildings. Libya is one of the strictest countries in terms of a ban on alcohol and drugs, and neither should be brought into the country, though smoking is very common.

Duty Free

Travellers may enter the country with 200 cigarettes or 250 cigars or 250g tobacco, and 250ml of perfume. All alcohol and drugs are strictly prohibited, as well as almost all foodstuffs. There is also an extensive list of banned items, including any articles manufactured or produced in Israel, and it is best to consult a Libyan Embassy for more information before travel.

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