GET TRAVEL SMART – Don’t forget your Speedos in France, no spontaneous dancing in Sweden and don’t build sandcastles in Spain!
Andrew Eborn shines a spotlight on some of the weird and wonderful laws around the world.
As many go on holiday for what may be the first time in 2 years it is essential not to fall foul of local laws otherwise you risk hefty fines and even imprisonment.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office is urging Britons to Get Travel Smart before travelling. The campaign recommends travellers check FCDO travel advice The FCDO site covers over 200 destinations and is kept under constant review.
In 2021, there were over 150 million views of FCDO travel advice pages.
In the event of an emergency overseas, a consular officer is available 24/7 to provide initial support and advice.
No camouflage clothing
In many places in the Caribbean including Barbados, Jamaica, St Lucia and St Vincent it is an offence for anyone, including children, to dress in camouflage clothing. This is to avoid civilians being mistaken for police officers or military personnel.
Don’t forget to pack your speedos
Under a law passed in 1903 all boys and men are required to wear tight fitting speedos when swimming in public pools. The reason for this is hygiene as larger swimming shorts are more likely to be worn all day thereby gathering dust and dirt. By insisting on speedos the water quality of pools is preserved.
Hiding your face in public places in France is illegal. This includes balaclavas, full veils or any other garment or mask that is used to conceal the face. Failure to comply with the ban is punishable by a maximum fine of €150.
Don’t run out of gas on the Autobahn!
The Autobahn in Germany is legendary. The whole network is over 13,200 Kms (8,200 miles) making it the 4th largest highway system in the world after China, US and Spain. There are stretches where you are able to drive as fast as your car and your abilities allow. Always be safe!
To keep traffic flowing and safe it is an offence to stop unnecessarily on the Autobahn. Running out of petrol is not an excuse. Best advice – top up.
It is forbidden to wear high heels around various ancient monuments including the Acropolis. The ban was introduced in 2009. Visitors must wear shoes that do not “wound the monuments”
No full moon in Greece!
Mooning and other indecent behaviour is not tolerated and may result heavy fines or prison. Some fancy dress costumes may be regarded as offensive and therefore against decency laws.
Enjoy the pizza & pasta but only in certain places and stay out of the fountains!
In some towns cities it is against the law to sit on monument steps or to eat and drink in the immediate vicinity of main churches, historic monuments and public buildings. It is also an offence to enter or bathe in public fountains.
The only plastic allowed in Capri is your credit card ! In May 2019 the Municipality of Capri introduced a law forbidding the use of any disposable plastic objects such as bags, cutlery, plates, cups, food packaging, trays, straws on the island of Capri. Violations can incur a fine of up to 500 euros.
It’s illegal to remove sand, shells or pebbles from coastal areas in Italy.
It is also illegal to feed the pigeons in Venice.
In some parts of Spain it is illegal to be bare chested or wearing only a bikini or swimming shorts/trunks. In some areas there is also a ban on building sandcastles. Some local councils will impose fines. Builder be ware!
Nude or topless sunbathing is not allowed. Cover your legs and shoulders, and take off shoes and hats if you are entering a Buddhist temple.
No selfies with Buddha
The mistreatment of Buddhist images and artefacts is a serious offence. Don’t pose for photographs standing in front of a statue of Buddha.
British nationals have also been refused entry to Sri Lanka or faced deportation for having visible tattoos of Buddha.
Don’t take photographs of military bases, government buildings or vehicles used by VIPs (this includes numerous sites in central Colombo).
Are you a Dancing Queen or feeling footloose? Be careful in Sweden where there is a ban on spontaneous dancing. This came as a result of concerns about the effects of dancing on the Swedish youth. Spontaneous dancing is illegal in any venue that does not have a licence. Whilst the Swedish Government voted to scrap the law in April 2016 the law has not yet been repealed.
In 1979 Sweden became the first country in the world to introduce legislation outlawing physical punishment of children.
BE TRAVEL SAFE
The rules vary from country to country and are changing all of the time. Check
https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice before you travel.
GET IN TOUCH
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