Foreign travel advice: Spain

A few months ago I was researching how safe it is to travel to a few countries. I used the Foreign Travel Advice webpage from the British government.

I thought to do a bit of “quality control” of their information. What do they say about countries that I know well?

So I went to read what they say for Spain. I could find that in Spain “There is a general threat from terrorism.” (this helps to understand what they mean by “general threat from terrorism” when they say this about other countries). I also learnt that a nurse in Spain tested positive for Ebola (they really update the information often).

But what it surprised me the most is the explicit warning that “balconing” is risky. It says:
“There have been several deaths as a result of falls from balconies. Don’t take any unnecessary risks, especially when under the influence of drink or drugs. See Balcony falls”. It’s so important that it links to a specific section balconing falls which adds more information:

“There have been a number of very serious accidents (some fatal) as a result of falls from balconies. Many of these incidents have been caused by British nationals being under the influence of drink or drugs and most should have been avoidable. Your travel insurance probably won’t cover you for incidents that take place while you’re under the influence of drink or drugs.

Some local councils have introduced laws banning the misuse of balconies with fines for those who are caught.

I’m sure that all the balconing accidents were avoidable!

I’m surprised that this needs to be written there but on the other hand every year a few people die because they jump from a balcony to the swimming pool (usually drunk people). I’m not sure how effective the warning will.

One more public announcement: if you don’t play the lottery and someone sends you an email to say that you won the lottery but that you have to pay some costs: very likely that it’s a scam! (and not only in Spain):

There have been reports of lottery scams in Spain. A person receives what appears to be official notification from the Spanish Inland Revenue office (Hacienda) that they’ve won the Spanish lottery and should deposit money in a bank account to receive their winnings. It’s likely to be a scam if you haven’t entered a lottery, you’re asked to pay anything up-front and the contact telephone number is for a mobile phone.”

Some time ago I did a similar exercise: I read what the Spanish Foreign Travel Advice says about the United Kingdom. Well, I have to say that after reading that text it seems that Oxford Street is one of the most dangerous places in the world!

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