What travellers to the Mideast need to know amid the Iran crisis
London - US President Donald Trump on Sunday stood by his threat to go after Iranian cultural sites, warning of a "major retaliation" if Iran strikes back for the killing of one of its top military commanders.
What has happened?
Following the death of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and threats of retaliation against the US, travel advice for several countries in the Middle East has been amended.
Which nations are affected?
The British Foreign Office has changed its advice for most countries in the region, including Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.
It advises against all travel to Iraq, except for the Kurdistan region, where it advises against all but essential travel. It advises against all but essential travel to Iran.
What does that mean?
Holidaymakers should avoid political protests or other volatile situations. They should be vigilant in crowds and tourist hotspots, and keep up to date on political developments in the region – particularly any new threat of attack or retaliation.
Should I cancel my holiday?
Countries on the "remain vigilant" list are considered safe to visit.
What is the risk of an attack?
A strike on tourists is unlikely, especially after Iran said it would hit military sites. But it is possible for protests linked to the crisis to become violent. Experts have also warned of the possible resurgence of Islamic State, which attacked holidaymakers in Tunisia and Egypt.
Are expats affected?
If the Foreign Office says it is safe to travel to the region there is no problem living in countries potentially affected. If it changes its advice to all but essential travel then you should seek instructions.