The British Foreign Office has recently updated its travel advice for a number of countries ahead of the summer holidays – including France, Spain and Greece. There, citizens and travellers may be exposed to the risk of violent demonstrations, terror attacks and dangerous viruses, according to the updated information shared by the Foreign Office. Holidaymakers heading to Spain have been warned to remain vigilant as “terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks” in the country. The Foreign Office wrote: “Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners.
“The Spanish authorities take measures to protect visitors, but you should be vigilant and follow the instructions of the local authorities.
“There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.”
Barcelona became the theatre of a deadly terror attack in August 2017, when terrorists mowed down people in the centre and Cambrils, a town 100km southwest of the city.
Spain, which was chosen by more than 18 million Britons as their summer holiday destination last year, has also seen in the past months “gatherings and demonstrations” in certain areas, such as Catalonia, where separatists often rally to ask for greater independence from Madrid.
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The Foreign Office updated its travel advice pages for a number of holiday destinations
The Foreign Office wrote: “There have been large gatherings of people in Barcelona and other areas of the Catalonia region in relation to the political developments there.
“Further gatherings and demonstrations are likely to take place.
“They may occur with little or no warning and even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can escalate and turn confrontational.
“You should exercise caution if you’re in the vicinity. Demonstrations may also cause some disruption and delays to transport services.”
The Foreign Office also updated in early June the travel advice page regarding France, warning Britons to stay away from the protests, which have often turned violent in the past, organised by Yellow Vest demonstrators.
Terrorists carried out a deadly attack in Barcelona in August 2017
The travel advice for France read: “Protests linked to the Yellow Vest movement continue across France, generally taking place on Saturdays.
“A number of previous demonstrations have led to violence and extensive damage to property in Paris and in other cities across the country.
“You should drive with caution as protestors may be present on roads, motorways and toll booths.
“In all cases, you should avoid demonstrations wherever possible and follow the advice of the local authorities.”
The Yellow Vest movement has been taking their discontent against Emmanuel Macron’s Government to the streets since November last year.
The Yellow Vest demonstrators have been protesting in France since November 2018
France, visited last year by more than 17 million Britons, is also at risk of terrorist attacks, the Foreign Office continued.
Migrants trying to illegally cross the Channel may also represent a risk for motorists, the Foreign Office said.
They wrote: “There remain some migrants around Calais, who may seek to enter the UK illegally.
“There have been instances of migrants seeking to slow down traffic on approach roads to ports, including by placing obstacles on the Calais Port approach road.
“If this happens you should keep moving where it’s safe to do so, or stop and call 112 if isn’t safe to proceed (keeping car doors locked).”
There has been a number of cases of West Nile virus in Greece last year
Those who will be visiting Greece this summer have also been warned they need to take “sensible precautions”.
While the risks of a terror attack are considered lower than in France and Spain, but it “can’t be ruled out”, the Foreign Office urged to take precautions against the West Nile virus, saying: “There were a number of cases of West Nile virus in Greece in 2018.
“You should consider preventative measures to minimise exposure to mosquitoes, for example using mosquito repellent when outdoors and closing doors or windows or using screens.”
The West Nile virus is typically spread by mosquitos and can cause fever, headache, vomiting or a rash in most cases.
More than three million Britons visited Greece last year.