Christmas is a time of year most people associate with festive joy and spending time with loved ones.


While it might be a happy occasion, travellers heading abroad on holiday should be aware of any risks.


The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issues terror advice on all countries.


So how safe are the short-haul destinations popular with Britons at this time of year?




France


The FCO warned terrorists are “very likely” to try to carry out attacks in France and the attacks could be “indiscriminate.”


There have been a number of high profile terrorist attacks since 2015 across France.


The FCI said: “Due to ongoing threats to France by Islamist terrorist groups, and recent French military intervention against Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL), the French government has warned the public to be extra vigilant and has reinforced its own domestic and overseas security measures.


“You should be vigilant in public places and follow the advice of local French authorities.”


Germany


Terror attacks are also classed as “very likely” in Germany.


On 19 December 2016, a lorry was driven into a crowd at a Christmas market in central Berlin causing 12 deaths and a number of injuries.


The FCO advised tourists to be vigilant. They added: “The German government has announced that increased security has been put in place as a precaution at public buildings, major events, transport hubs and large public gatherings.”




Egypt


The FCO warned that terrorists are “very likely” to carry out attacks across Egypt.


They advised: “You should avoid crowded places and gatherings (including in or around religious sites) during religious festivals or times of heightened tensions.


“Terrorist groups have sometimes called for attacks at these times. Take extra care over local holiday weekends, as some terrorist attacks have occurred during these times.”


The FCO added: “The authorities in Egypt maintain a significant security presence across the country, including armed security officers stationed at important sites, critical infrastructure, and road checkpoints. Extra measures are in place at tourist sites.”


Morocco


Morocco is also classed as a country where terror attacks are “very likely” and tourists should be vigilant.


“Attacks could be indiscriminate or target foreigners,” cautioned the FCO.


“Protective security measures, including security personnel, may be visible in certain areas including hotels and sites popular with tourists.”




Spain


In Spain terrorists are considered “likely” to carry out attacks, making it one of the safer holiday destinations.


The FCO said: “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.”


Turkey


Terror attacks are ”very likely” to happen in Turkey and a number of terrorist groups are active there.


On New Year’s day in 2017, there was an attack on the Reina nightclub in Ortakoy, Istanbul; 39 people were killed and 69 injured.


Terrorist groups, including Daesh and the TAK, have publicly threatened to attack tourist sites in Turkey.


“There is a heightened risk of terrorist attack against the aviation industry in Turkey,” warned the FCO. “You should co-operate fully with security officials at airports.


There are only two countries in the world that haven’t been given “likely” or “very likely” warnings for terrorism by the FCO.


Instead, Iceland and Japan are classed as countries where terror attacks “can’t be ruled out.”


The safest places in the world have recently been revealed by new research. 




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