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FCO Advice change for Sri Lanka 25th April 2019 - now is all but essential travel. Please refer to your travel provider or visit our FAQ page.
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Terrorism Over The Holidays

A vehicle attack in Barcelona… two bombings in Athens… No, this isn’t a recap or a film plot, it’s what happened over the 2018 Christmas holidays!

We’ve all read about the horrific Christmas market shooting in Strasbourg, the murder of two tourists in Morocco, and the Manchester knife attack on New Year’s Eve, but these are just three out of more than 200 acts of terrorism that took place around the world during December 2018.

Many of the attacks took place in dangerous parts of the globe that we wouldn’t travel to such as Libya and Syria, but a surprisingly large number were in popular travel destinations – including Greece, Egypt, Spain, and Thailand – but didn’t make it into the news.

Making every act of terrorism a headline would only serve to help terrorists as their aim is to cause fear and panic, so it isn’t necessarily a problem that the general public doesn’t see every gory detail. If you’re planning to travel however, it’s important to have all the facts.

We don’t believe in staying home in fear, but we firmly believe in making informed decisions, planning ahead, and being prepared – not scared.

 

December Attacks

 

Date

Place

What Happened

8th Dec

Kenya

3 civilians killed

12th Dec

Strasbourg, France

Christmas market attack – 5 killed, 12 wounded

13th Dec

Jerusalem Old City, Israel

Knife attack – 2 policemen wounded

14th Dec

Tunisia

Attack on security forces

15th Dec

Sinai Peninsula, Egypt

Attack on routine security check

17th Dec

Athens, Greece

Headquarters of Skai TV in central Athens bombed  – massive building damage

17th Dec

Morocco

2 Scandinavian tourists decapitated whilst camping in the High Atlas mountains. Morocco is usually considered a safer destination, especially for younger gap year travellers.  A Swiss citizen has been arrested, and is also suspected of recruiting Moroccans, “To carry out terrorist plots.. against foreign targets.”

24th Dec

Thailand

Massive ongoing insurgency, including four attacks during December – all killed and injured were civilians

25th Dec

Kenya

Another attack affecting civilians

27th Dec

Athens, Greece

Another bombing – this time outside a church

28th Dec

Barcelona, Spain

A van rammed into anti-terrorism police officers on Las Ramblas.

28th Dec

Giza, Egypt

Tourist bus bombing – 4 killed and 12 injured

31st Dec

Philippines

IED explosion at a shopping centre – another IED was also found and disposed of.

31st Dec

Manchester, UK

Three people stabbed at Victoria Station – one police officer and two civilians. The suspect is in custody and police raided his home.

31st Dec

Bottrop, Germany

Vehicle rams into pedestrians – some media are calling this a racist attack while others report that it is being treated as terrorism.

 

Arrests and Prevented Attacks

International police and counter-terrorism teams have been working around the clock over the holidays, and a number of arrests have been reported. These include:

  • Swedish police arrested a man on 13 December for the suspected planning of a terror attack.
  • Turkish officials report the capture of “200 Daesh-linked suspects” during December.
  • Rotterdam – four men were arrested over the weekend just prior to New Year’s Eve, and one man was arrested in a separate case on 31 December, on suspicion of being involved in terrorism-related crimes.
  • A 32-year-old man was detained at Luton Airport on 27 December, on suspicion of “Syria-related terrorism offences.” Some reports however indicate that he may have been in Syria to fight against terrorists.
  • Three young men in the UK were arrested. Charges include encouraging terrorism, dissemination of terrorist publications, possessing material “useful to someone preparing an act of terrorism,” and conspiracy to inspire racial or religious hatred. They are said to be linked to a neo-Nazi group.

 

Unfortunately, there’s no doubt that terrorism will continue to be a concern during 2019 and even destinations which are generally regarded as “safe” are not immune to an attack or an attempted attack. We hope arrests continue and that that 2019 sees more attacks foiled and prevented, but in the meantime please be vigilant and be prepared so you can travel with greater peace of mind.

Single Trip Cover

From £5.17* per person

  • Travel insurance that covers disinclination to travel if your destination is affected by terrorism before you travel.
  • Safe Journey provides comprehensive travel insurance just for acts of terrorism.
  • Single Trip insurance provides cover for up to 180 days of continuous travel.
  • Available for singles, couples and families and with no maximum age limit and no medical screening requirements.
  • For Business and Leisure travellers.
  • For UK, Channel Island and Isle of Man residents when travelling in the UK and abroad, when you have booked and pre-paid your flights or accommodation.
  • Safe Journey covers up to £2000 per person for travel arrangements, if where you are staying is affected by terrorism and you want to return home.
  • Travel delays caused by acts of terrorism are covered.
  • Personal possessions including money and passports are protected whilst you travel against damage or loss as a result of acts of terrorism.
  • 24 hour (UK based) emergency assistance to help you after an act of terrorism.
  • Maximum excess per claim £100
Buy now

*For up to 8 days travel, Worldwide. £53.73 for 180 days continuous travel, Worldwide.

Annual Multi-Trip Cover

From £15.66 per person

  • Travel insurance that covers disinclination to travel if your destination is affected by terrorism before you travel.
  • Safe Journey provides comprehensive travel insurance just for acts of terrorism.
  • Annual Multi-Trip insurance for travel durations of up to 31 days, for each trip you take during a year.
  • Available for singles, couples and families and with no maximum age limit and no medical screening requirements.
  • For Business and Leisure travellers.
  • For UK, Channel Island and Isle of Man residents when travelling in the UK and abroad, when you have booked and pre-paid flights or accommodation.
  • Safe Journey covers up to £2000 per person for travel arrangements, if where you are staying is affected by terrorism and you want to return home.
  • Travel delays caused by acts of terrorism are covered.
  • Personal possessions including money and passports are protected whilst you travel against damage or loss as a result of acts of terrorism.
  • 24 hour (UK based) emergency assistance to help you after an act of terrorism.
  • Maximum excess per claim £100
Buy now

†31 Days any-one-trip, Worldwide.