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According to research conducted by the UK’s Foreign and Common wealth Office (FCO), Briton’s travelling abroad are risking arrest, prosecution or even a prison sentence by not researching local laws and customs before travelling.
The study found that one in seven men admitted to having sex in a public place while on holiday, while half of all women who sunbathe topless do so without checking if its against the law.
One in twenty men also confessed to mooning or streaking on holiday, risking arrest and a fine.
The FCO also alerted gay travellers that homosexuality is illegal in many popular travel destinations such as Morocco and Goa.
Jess Prasad, the FCO’s know Before You Go campaign manager said “Different countries have different laws and customs, and what is acceptable in Spain may not be acceptable in Greece or Turkey. With more people travelling outside the euro zone this year it is ever more important that people familiarise themselves with local laws and custom’s before they go.
“Meanwhile Richard Fielder from the British Embassy in Egypt said “It is important to recognise that even within the same country different area often have different rules”.
One recent example of how ignorance of the law can get holidaymakers into trouble in the case of the British publishing assistant and her partner who were arrested for having sex on the beach in Dubai and braking the no-unmarried-sex law, public indecency and public drunkenness- they decided to enter a shotgun marriage in a bid to reduce their possible six-year sentence to just three months. The Foreign Office confirmed that at the time that it was providing consular assistance, but it could not prevent a jail term, fine and deportation of both individuals following the jail term.
In July 2008 alone , Dubai police arrested 79 people, the majority of whom were tourists, for topless sunbathing, nudity, and other acts that were deemed indecent by the authorities.
Don’t forget to buy travel insurance.
Whatever sort of holiday or trip you are planning, don’t forget to buy travel insurance. Holidaysafe.co.uk can offer two weeks European cover for an individual aged between 36 and 55 years old from just £9.05. For people requiring gap year travel insurance or backpackers travel insurance cover starts from a very reasonable 17pence a day. To get a quote or to buy travel insurance, please click here.
Source: ITIJ issue 103 August 2009
Prices correct as at 31/07/2009 but subject to change.
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