The Foreign Office has advised against all but essential travel to the violence-stricken Bahrain. Travel advice for specific areas in Libya has also been announced by the FCO. Bahrain unrest may put off holiday makers from grabbing flights to the nation.
The Foreign Office has issued warning to Britons against all but essential travel to Bahrain in light of the continuing violence in the Gulf nation. FCO has also advised against all non-essential travel to the certain parts of Libya after political protests there.
“In light of recent developments, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office [FCO] has changed its travel advice to advise against all but essential travel to the Kingdom of Bahrain,” as quoted in a statement released by the Foreign Office.
The ministry further added that all British citizens already in Bahrain were being advised to remain on high alert especially in public areas and on highways, and to avoid demonstrations and large gatherings.
“We have also advised all UK nationals currently in Bahrain to maintain a high level of security awareness particularly in public places and on major highways; and to avoid large gatherings, crowds and demonstrations.”
The Foreign Office additionally observed that the chances of further demonstrations and the risk of violence in the Kingdom of Bahrain remained high.
FCO further said: “We have taken this decision in response to reports of live fire in the capital Manama.
“The United Kingdom is alarmed by reports of soldiers firing on protesters in Bahrain. This is an extremely worrying development.”
British Foreign Secretary William Hague also expressed his apprehension about the intensification of violence in the Gulf kingdom.
“I am alarmed by reports of soldiers firing on protestors in Bahrain. This is an extremely worrying development,” Mr Hague was quoted as stating by different Internet news portals.
“The circumstances of what happened are not yet clear, but I call on the Bahrain authorities to avoid violence and the use of excessive force and to exercise restraint,” he added.
Protests Likely to Put Off Tourists
According to the British Foreign Office, there are between 8,000 and 10,000 Britons residing in Bahrain with thousand visiting the country each year. The Middle East nation is regarded as highly popular holiday destination among Europeans and Americans. Bahrain is a relatively a cheaper option for travellers who wish to seek the Middle East’s enigmatic charm blended with its world class hospitality. A number airlines offer cheap tickets on flights to the Bahrain InternationalAirport allowing travellers to enjoy budget holidays.
However, the country’s reputation of being a potential top tourist destination seems to take a big hit with the recent political turmoil shaping up. The development is indeed a bad news for differentairlines operating flights to the destination, as well as for those holiday makers who landed up with tickets on cheap flights to Bahrain. However, Bahrain Air and Gulf Air officials reportedly said that there is no change in their flight services till now.
The Foreign Office has also modified its travel advice for Libya as political demonstrations rock this nation too. FCO has advised against all but essential travel to the cities of Benghazi, Ajdabiya, Al-Bayda, Al-Marj, Derna, Ajdabiya and Tobruk and to areas bordering Sudan, Chad, Niger and Algeria.
According to a foreign ministry spokeswoman who was quoted by different online sources, there are nearly 3,500 British nationals in Libya, out of which between 40 and 50 are considered to be in the regions affected by the protests.
A number of people are reported to have lost their lives in the country since protests began on Tuesday.
The political demonstrations in Bahrain and Libya are part of a tide of anti-government protests that are sweeping across the Arab world. Tunisia and Egypt are other countries that witnessed similar political turmoil recently.