The UK Foreign Office states that it’s still possible to visit countries bordering Israel, but it’s important to choose destinations that are far away from the border areas.
The ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel since October 7th directly affects the tourism activities in the Middle East. Travelers planning to visit countries near the Israeli border, such as Egypt, Cyprus, and Jordan, are concerned about their trips.
Egypt shares a border with the Gaza Strip, but it is not directly involved in the current conflict. Airlines and travel companies continue to operate flights to and from Egypt. These flights now bypass Israeli airspace, instead traveling through Italian airspace and the Mediterranean Sea.
However, the UK Foreign Office advises travelers not to visit locations within 20 kilometers from the Egypt/Libya border. They particularly recommend canceling all non-essential trips to the northern and southern parts of the Sinai Peninsula, the eastern Ismailiyah province, most of the western desert, the Hala’ib Triangle, and Bir Tawil.
The UK Foreign Office states that “terrorists may attempt to carry out attacks in Egypt” and provides evidence of five attacks that have occurred in Cairo, Minya province, and near the Suez Canal from 2018 to 2022.
However, if travelers still plan to visit Egypt, they should consider resorts in the Red Sea region, such as Sharm El Sheikh or Hurghada. Both cities are far from the Israeli border.
Geographically, Cyprus is approximately 250 miles away from Israel’s coastline. However, as of now, the conflict has not affected the island, and the UK does not issue any specific warnings against traveling to Cyprus. Flights continue to operate but do not pass through Israeli airspace.
Jordan shares a western border with Israel and a northern border with Syria. The UK warns against traveling within 3 kilometers of the Jordan-Syria border. Border crossings into Israel may be closed temporarily, so travelers should check with local authorities in advance. Famous Jordanian destinations like Petra and Amman are not subject to travel restrictions.
The Jordanian Tourism Board has stated, “Given recent developments in Gaza, we want to emphasize that Jordan remains a safe and welcoming destination for tourists from around the world.”
Airlines like British Airways, easyJet, Tui, and Wizz Air continue to operate flights to Jordan from Heathrow, Gatwick, and Luton airports. A spokesperson for Wizz Air mentioned that they are rerouting all flights to Jordan, avoiding Egyptian airspace.
The UK advises against all non-essential travel to Lebanon and recommends against all travel to specific areas within the country, including the southern Litani River region, 12 Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, the Syrian border, and the towns of Hermel, Arsal, Ras Baalbek, Qaa, Laboué, and Nahlé.