While travelling has become a little less stressful with restrictions easing up, that doesn't mean Canadians can just up and go to any country. The Government of Canada has issued a number of travel warnings for many countries worldwide.
Although the feds are still urging travellers to avoid travelling to Russia at all costs due to the ongoing Russia and Ukraine conflict, Canadians should also avoid destinations such as France, Algeria, Hong Kong, Venezuela and Israel, to name a few.
With threats involving crime, fraud, and terrorism all the way to civil unrest and demonstrations — here are eight countries you should avoid at all costs or exercise a high degree of caution when visiting.
As of August 30, 2022, the Government of Canada has issued a travel warning for France — urging travellers to "exercise a high degree of caution," when visiting "due to the elevated threat of terrorism."
The feds have indicated that terrorists have carried out attacks in several European cities and many opportunistic and premeditated attacks have occurred in France specifically.
Enhanced security measures have been set forth in various strategic locations, including transport hubs, public places, and tourist locations (especially in Paris). Travellers should expect increased police or military presence in public places, including some tourist locations, particularly in the capital.
Travellers should "exercise a high degree of caution in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip as the security situation may change rapidly," the Government of Canada stated.
The Gaza Strip should be avoided at all costs due to the continued conflict between Israel and Gaza Strip-based terrorists, such as Hamas. Travellers should also avoid all non-essential travel to the West Bank due to the "unpredictable security situation."
The feds are also urging Canadians to avoid non-essential travel to any border points with Gaza Strip "due to the risk of rocket and mortar fire, gunfire and military activity."
Canadians are being urged to "avoid all travel," to Ukraine amidst the ongoing crisis and war between Ukraine and Russia. "Your safety is at high risk, particularly if you engage in active combat," the Government of Canada states.
On August 23, 2022, the Embassy of the United States in Kyiv issued the following security alert: “The Department of State has information that Russia is stepping up efforts to launch strikes against Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure and government facilities in the coming days. Russian strikes in Ukraine pose a continued threat to civilians and civilian infrastructure.”
If you are in Ukraine, leave if it is safe to do so. If not, shelter in a secure place until it is safe for you to leave. Our ability to provide consular services in Ukraine is severely limited.
Trinidad and Tobago
Those wanting to travel to Trinidad and Tobago should "exercise a high degree of caution due to violent crime," the feds stated. Violent crime, including armed robberies, assaults and sexual assault occurs frequently on the island of Trinidad, particularly in the country's capital, Port of Spain.
Many tourists have been targeted. Since 2018, incidents involving kidnapping for ransom have increased. The Government of Canada is urging cruise ship passengers, in particular, to be very careful when walking around the docks in Port of Spain as "there is a risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Travellers should "exercise a high degree of caution," when visiting Algeria due to the ongoing risk of civil unrest and the threat of terrorism. Canadians should "avoid all travel," to areas bordering Libya, Tunisia, Mali, Niger and Mauritania, as well as in the wilayas of Adrar, El Oued, Illizi, Ouargla, Tamanrasset, Tébessa, and Tindouf.
You should also avoid all non-essential travel to the Kabylioa region and Annaba, Béchar, Biskra, El Bayed, El Treat, Jijel, Khenchela, Laghouat, Skikda and Souk Ahras wilayas as there is a threat of terrorism, banditry and kidnapping in these areas.
Terrorist attacks and counter-insurgency operations occur regularly in the country’s east and south, particularly in border areas. Banditry and kidnappings have also taken place, the Government of Canada said.
Travel to North Korea should be avoided at all costs due to the "uncertain security situation caused by its nuclear weapons development program and highly repressive regime." Additionally, "there is no resident Canadian government office in the country. The ability of Canadian officials to provide consular assistance in North Korea is extremely limited."
According to the Government of Canada, tourist facilities are minimal and telecommunications are unreliable in North Korea. Travel must be authorized in advance by the government of North Korea and travellers are closely observed, and their accommodations and telecommunications are monitored while in the country.
Furthermore, there are serious shortages of food, electricity and clean water.
Canadian travellers should avoid all travel to Venezuela "due to the significant level of violent crime, the unstable political and economic situations and the decline in basic living conditions, including shortages of medication, gasoline and water."
According to the Government of Canada, a state of emergency also known as a state of exception in Venezuela, has been in effect since January 15, 2016, and the security situation remains unstable and could deteriorate with very little warning.
Venezuela has one of the world’s highest homicide rates, particularly in the capital city of Caracas. Crimes include homicide, armed robbery, home invasion, carjacking and kidnapping for ransom.
Canadian travellers should exercise a "high degree of caution," when visiting Hong Kong "due to the risk of arbitrary enforcement of local laws."
Crime such as stabbings, pickpocketing and purse snatching occurs within the country, as do incidents of drink spiking, particularly in the Wan Chai area. The Government of Canada stated that while demonstrations are illegal without prior approval from the local government in Hong Kong, unauthorized and spontaneous demonstrations could still occur.
"Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation."