Is it safe to travel to Israel right now? Latest travel advice

Is it safe to travel to Israel right now? Latest travel advice

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✡️Is it safe to travel to Israel right now? Latest travel advice

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Is it safe to travel to Israel right now? Latest travel advice

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The UK Foreign Office (FCDO) is now warning against all travel to large parts of Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories over safety concerns amid the Israel-Hamas war. Meanwhile, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and easyJet all continue to suspend their flights to Tel Aviv. Thousands of deaths have been reported in Israel and Gaza since fighting broke out on Saturday, October 7, while many people are still missing. The conflict is escalating, with Hamas firing rockets towards Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport on Wednesday, October 11, and a hospital in Gaza hit by a rocket on Tuesday, October 17. Here’s what you need to know.

Main photo: an airstrike in Gaza City on Monday, October 9, 2023 (Getty Images)

What’s the latest government advice about travelling to Israel?

The FCDO currently advises against all but essential travel to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. This includes the cities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

It also advises against all travel to Gaza and the areas close to its borders, the West Bank (excluding East Jerusalem and Route 1), Sheba’a Farms and Ghajjar, within 5km of the border with Lebanon, within 500m of the border with Syria, and the areas in northern Israel that were recently evacuated.

The UK Foreign Office said: “Events in Israel/OPTs are fast moving and the situation has potential to deteriorate quickly and without warning. This could disrupt air and road links out of the country. If your reason to remain in Israel is not essential you should consider leaving if it is safe to do so.

“If you are in an area affected by the fighting, follow the instructions of Israeli Home Front Command.”

Updates can be found on the Israeli Home Front Command website, or by calling 104 — both of these sevices are only available to those currently in Israel.

A state of emergency is in place across Israel, and the Foreign Office warns that borders could close at short notice. Ensure you check with airlines and insurers before travel.

If you are currently in Israel, you should register your presence with the UK government on the dedicated webpage so that it can send you updates. You must do this for every member of your family that’s a British citizen.

The Western Wall and Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem
The Western Wall and Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem (Alamy)

Is it safe to travel to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv?

You should not be considering visiting Jerusalem or Tel Aviv for a holiday right now. The FCDO has advised against all but essential travel to areas of Israel that include the tourist hubs of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. A state of emergency is in place across the country.

EasyJet has paused services from London to Tel Aviv until November 7. It has also cancelled easyJet holiday packages to Tel Aviv until later in the year. A spokesman said: “Customers on affected flights have been contacted directly and provided with options to receive a refund, a voucher or a free of charge transfer to a new flight. We are continuing to closely monitor the situation, with a view to resuming some services when we can.”

EasyJet customers in Israel can call its hotline: +44 (0) 330 5515147. The English-speaking service is available 7am-10pm BST.

Virgin Atlantic has paused services between London Heathrow and Tel Aviv until Thursday, October 26. From Friday, October 27, it plans to resume one of its twice-daily services. However, those scheduled to travel before Saturday, October 28, will have the option to cancel or rebook without any fees.

Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, Israel
Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv (Getty Images)

British Airways has suspended all services to Tel Aviv until October 27. The airline said: “Safety is always our highest priority and following the latest assessment of the situation we’re suspending our flights to and from Tel Aviv. If you are due to travel with us we will be in contact with you directly, providing you options including a full refund or rebooking with another airline. Our teams will continue to monitor the situation in the region closely.”

A spokesperson from the Israel Ministry of Tourism said: “We are monitoring the situation and are committed to ensuring that all tourists visiting Israel are safe and informed. Israel’s Ministry of Tourism will provide all necessary assistance to those who need it and is operating a tourist hotline via WhatsApp (+972-55-972-6931) for tourists to stay informed on the situation as it evolves.

“We appreciate the support of the UK and fellow nations in a difficult time for the Israeli nation.”

Additional reporting by Qin Xie

Is it safe to travel to Israel right now? Latest travel advice

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