IRISH tourists are advised to travel with “extreme caution” in major holiday locations.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs lists its security ratings for a number of countries like Spain, Portugal, France and Italy on its website.
Their site states: “Safety ratings are a clear way for us to show you how safe or dangerous we think a country may be to visit and to help you make informed decisions about foreign travel. .”
The four ratings are normal precautions, high degree of caution, avoid non-essential travel, and no travel.
Countries in the high degree of caution category – including Spain, Portugal, France and Italy – present “additional risks such as serious crime and/or terrorism, specific targeting of foreigners, disease or extreme weather events”.
The Foreign Office says: “Make sure you are well informed and aware of the risks before departure, and carefully follow the advice and instructions of local authorities.
“You should be vigilant and take extra precautions when planning your trip.
“Many Irish people safely visit countries with this rating every year, but we are issuing such a warning to draw your attention to the clear risks we have identified.
“Make sure you are well informed and aware of the risks before departure, and carefully follow the advice and instructions of local authorities. You must be vigilant and take extra care in planning your trip.
“Many Irish people safely visit countries with this rating each year, but we are issuing such a warning to draw your attention to the clear risks we have identified.”
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Government advice for Irish travelers includes avoiding protests and demonstrations, staying alert at all times, considering sharing your itinerary and travel plans with friends and family, watching the news and beware of scams targeting tourists.
Irish people are also advised to Register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Meanwhile, Irish holidaymakers could end up with a massive fine for a simple mistake on Spanish beaches.
A number of new local laws were introduced before the start of the Covid-19 restrictions in March 2020.
And they include a ban on beach barbecues that could cost tourists a €3,000 fine.
Some areas such as the picturesque medieval town of Salobreña prohibit the use of barbecues on the beaches – and those who break the rules will be punished with a hefty fine.
While other regions sometimes allow small barbecues or bonfires if permission is sought beforehand, or on national holidays like San Juan Night in June, tourists should check before lighting one.
This also extends to the creation of a fire pit, the presence of gas cylinders, flammable liquids or the ignition of any type of cooking machine.
Breaking the barbecue rule is the biggest fine tourists can receive on a Spanish beach, but there are also several other rules to consider.
Anyone walking to or from the beach on public streets in swimwear alone could be fined €300, with reports suggesting they have already been distributed to tourists in Mallorca and Barcelona.
As for full nudity, make sure you only get naked if you’re on an official nudist beach, otherwise you’ll be fined €750.
It is also illegal to use soap or shampoo when using public showers on Spanish beaches.