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Travel warnings for Greece, Spain, Thailand and Italy

Travel warnings for Greece, Spain, Thailand and Italy

The Foreign Office regularly updates its guidance on travel to popular travel destinations to keep British citizens out of harm’s way.

Greece, Italy, Spain and Thailand are among the most popular hotspots for sun-seeking Britons, but UK officials warn there are several safety and security risks to be aware of.

These can include risks of terrorist attacks, strikes, a heightened risk of particular viruses and others.

Here’s some of the latest advice for travelling to the four countries loved by British tourists.

The FCDO says Greece is also at risk of a terrorist attack, noting there have been several, “involving explosives and automatic weapons against Greek institutions, shopping malls, banks, media offices, diplomatic premises and the police”.

Britons are warned that Greek authorities have heightened security at some prominent locations, including tourist sites, due to the Israel-Hamas war and the unrest it has provoked internationally.

“There is currently a heightened risk of such protests, particularly in central Athens,” officials said.

People are urged to steer clear of protests and follow the advice of local authorities.

Officials also flagged the following regular demonstrations that take place in central Athens.

  • 1 May (Labour Day)
  • 17 November (anniversary of when student protests against a military dictatorship were put down violently – ‘Polytechnio’)
  • 6 December (anniversary of the shooting of 15-year-old student Alexandros Grigoropoulos)

Authorities warn demonstrations should be avoided as some of them have turned violent in the past.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has warned that this summer “is predicted to be particularly dangerous” in terms of wildfire risk. Greece has been hit by over 52 wildfires over the past week, though most were successfully contained early on.

The FCDO doesn’t have any specific guidance on the latest blazes but warns in its general guidance of heightened risks of wildfires from April to October.

In the event of wildfires, people are advised to:

  • follow @112Greece for official updates
  • follow the guidance of the emergency services
  • call the Greek emergency services on 112 if you are in immediate danger
  • contact airline or travel operators who can assist with return travel to the UK

You can find out more about the department’s guidance here.

Officials warn terrorists are “likely to try and carry out attacks in Spain“, with a high threat level for a terrorist attack globally.

“Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreign nationals,” the UK government website warns. Holidaymakers are advised to “Stay aware of your surroundings, keep up to date with local media reports and follow the advice of local authorities.”

In January last, one person was killed and others injured in a machete attack at 2 churches in Cadiz, officials noted.

The FCDO also warned that “Demonstrations, political gatherings or marches can take place” in the country “with little or no warning, particularly in cities”, and recommended visitors follow the advice of police and local authorities.

“While most demonstrations are peaceful, there is a risk of unrest or violence,” the warning adds. “If you’re near areas where demonstrations are taking place, be aware of what is happening around you and move away if there are signs of disorder.”

The department also warns visitors to be vigilant about street crime, as well as “highway pirates”.

“‘Highway pirates’ target foreign-registered and hire cars, especially those towing caravans. They may flag you down, claiming there is something wrong with your car or that you have damaged theirs,” the department said.

“If you decide to stop to check the condition of a vehicle, stop in a public area with lights, such as a service station. Be wary of anyone offering help.”

You can find out more about the warnings currently in place here.

Non-essential travel Thailand is currently discouraged due to security concerns in the country.

This week the Foreign Office, which regularly revises its guidance, issued a warning that there is a “high threat” of terrorism.

On Tuesday, July 2, a new alert was put out specifically for those heading to Thailand, which is a huge holiday destination for UK residents, who flock to tourist hotspots like Phuket and Bangkok.

The latest Gov.UK alert reads: “Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Thailand. FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the following areas due to regular terrorist attacks:

  • Pattani province
  • Yala province
  • Narathiwat province
  • Southern Songkhla province, except for the areas north of and including the A43 road between Hat Yai and Sakom; and the areas north-west of the train line which runs between Hat Yai and Padang Besar
  • Hat Yai to Padang Besar train line, which was attacked in 2022

The Foreign Office advice added that “martial law is in place in most areas in these provinces, which means security forces have greater security enforcement and investigative powers.”

But it stressed that terrorist attacks “could take place anywhere in Thailand. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners”.

According to government officials, potential targets may encompass security forces, government offices, hotels, shops and supermarkets, or transport infrastructure.

Travellers have been told to “stay aware of your surroundings, keep up to date with local media reports and follow the advice of local authorities.”

The Foreign Office says terrorist attacks in Italy also cannot be ruled out and advises visitors to remain vigilant and follow Counter Terrorism Policing advice.

Italian authorities have also increased security around some Jewish community sites due to the conflict in the Middle East.

Among its other warnings are over thefts from parked cars, particularly in the Colosseum area of Rome, Ostia, Milan and Pisa.

“Thieves also target coastal areas and towns, and motorway service stations,” it warns. “Avoid leaving luggage in your vehicle – even out of sight in the boot – for any length of time.

“Thieves may use a variety of methods to distract you or encourage you to stop your car, including asking for help or directions or pointing out a fictional fault with your car,” the warning adds.