January 20, 2022

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Libya Travel Advisory

8 min read

Do not travel to Libya due to COVID-19, crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and armed conflict.

Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Libya due to COVID-19.   

Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Libya. 

Crime levels in Libya remain high, including the threat of kidnapping for ransom. Westerners and U.S. citizens have been targets of these crimes.

Terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Libya. Violent extremist activity in Libya remains high, and extremist groups have made threats against U.S. government officials and citizens. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, hotels, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and  government facilities.

Outbreaks of violence between competing armed groups can occur with little warning and have the potential to impact U.S. citizens. The capital, Tripoli, and other cities, such as Surman, Al-Jufra, Misrata, Ajdabiya, Benghazi, Sabha, and Dernah, have witnessed fighting among armed groups, as well as terrorist attacks. Hotels and airports frequented by Westerners have been the targets of these attacks. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.

Militia or armed groups sometimes detain travelers for arbitrary reasons, do not grant detainees access to a lawyer or a legal process, and do not allow detainees to inform others of their status. U.S. citizens should carry proof of citizenship and valid immigration status at all times, but having these documents does not guarantee fair treatment.

Some international and national airports are closed, and flights out of operational airports are sporadic and may be cancelled without warning. The U.S. government is very concerned about the targeting of commercial transportation in Libya and prohibits U.S. commercial aviation operations within Libyan airspace.

The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency or routine assistance to U.S. citizens in Libya, as the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli suspended its operations in July 2014.

Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of Libya, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For more information U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Libya:

  • See the U.S. Embassy’s webpage regarding COVID-19. 
  • Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19.   
  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Carry proof of citizenship and valid immigration status at all times.
  • Avoid demonstrations and crowds.
  • Make contingency plans to leave.
  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or a power of attorney.
  • Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, and etcetera.
  • Establish your own personal security plan in coordination with your employer or host organization, or consider consulting with a professional security organization.
  • Develop a communication plan with family and/or your employer or host organization.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.

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