Foreign Office travel safety advice: France, Spain and Egypt
Torrential rainfall prompted chaos in southern France and Spain yesterday (23 Oct), with heavy flooding causing severe disruption and damage to infrastructure.
The weather conditions caused disruption to rail and roads throughout Southern France and Catalonia, and forced emergency services to bring people to safety, although some are still reported as missing.
If you are due to be heading abroad on an upcoming holiday, here is the latest travel advice from the UK Foreign Office you need to know.
Travel to France
Severe rain and thunderstorms, with the potential for flash flooding, are forecast for parts of south-western France (especially in the Hérault, Aude, Pyrénées Orientales, Gard, Aveyron and Tarn Departments) from Tuesday 22 October.
The weather could cause damage to property, infrastructure and travel disruption. Travellers are advised to follow the advice of the local authorities.
Some protests linked to the yellow vest (gilets jaunes) movement continue across France, with these generally taking place on a Saturday.
Motorists may experience delays or blockages and are advised to avoid demonstrations where possible.
Those crossing the Channel should check the website of their chose operator before travelling and in the event of disruption, information about alternative routes can be viewed via this interactive map.
There remain some migrants around Calais who may seek to slow down traffic by placing obstacles on the Calais Port approach road. If this happens, motorists should keep moving where it is safe to do so, or stop and call 112 if it is not safe to proceed (keeping car doors locked).
Due to ongoing threats to France by Islamist terrorist groups, and recent French military intervention against Daesh (formerly known as ISIL), the French government has warned the public to be especially vigilant and has reinforced its security measures.
Visit the French government's advice about what to do if a terrorist attack occurs.
Travel to Spain
Severe rain and thunderstorms with the potential for flash flooding are forecast across Spain, especially in Catalonia, The Balearic Islands, Basque Country, Cantabria and Asturias, which could pose damage to infrastructure and cause travel disruption.
Travellers are advised to follow the guidance of the local authorities.
Recently there have been large gatherings of people and demonstrations in some parts of Barcelona and other areas of the Catalonia region in relation to political developments, with further demonstrations likely.
These may cause disruptions to transport, including access to airports, roads and the railway and metro systems.
If you are in an area where demonstrations are taking place, you should remain vigilant, follow the advice of local authorities and move away quickly to a safe place if there are signs of disorder.
Barcelona Tourism has launched a telephone line for tourists that have missed their flight or couldn't make it to their hotel. The number is +34 93 285 3834.
Damage caused by recent flash flooding continues to affect some areas in the south of the Alicante and Murcua regions, causing some disruption to local transport. If you are in these areas, you should follow the advice of the local authorities.
Travel to Egypt
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to the Governorate of North Sinai, except essential travel to:
the Governorate of South Sinai, except the area within the Sharm el Sheikh perimeter barrier, which includes the airport and the areas of Sharm el Maya, Hadaba, Naama Bay, Sharks Bay and Nabq. the area west of the Nile Valley and Nile Delta regions, excluding the coastal areas between the Nile Delta and Marsa Matruh
Most terrorists attacks in Egypt occur in North Sinai, but there is a risk of attacks across the country.
These attacks could be in indiscriminate, affecting Egyptian security forces, religious sites, large public gatherings and places visited by foreigners.
There is a heightened threat of terrorist attacks in or around religious sites and during religious festivals, such as the month of Ramadan and the Christmas period (including Coptic Christmas), when terrorist groups have sometimes called for attacks.
There is a heightened threat of terrorist attacks targeting Coptic Christians from extremists linked to Daesh-Sinai in Egypt.
Travellers should follow the advice of Egyptian authorities, remaining particularly vigilant and maintaining a high level of security awareness in crowded places and at large gatherings.
Following the crash of a St Petersburg-bound flight in North Sinai in October 2015, direct flights between the UK and Sharm el Sheikh were suspended. The UK government has worked with Egyptian authorities to enable flights to resume, and on 22 October 2019 the restrictions were lifted.
There remains a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation in Egypt and additional security measures are in place for flights departing from Egypt to the UK.