Britons warned about holiday laws including feeding pigeons and carrying bottled water | World | News
People holidaying abroad are strongly advised to research the rules of their destination
Brits heading abroad to explore cities, sunbathe on white sandy beaches or visit landmarks need to take some precautions before leaving their home country. It is essential to ensure that all the documents are in order, as well as packing the necessary items for the trip. However, another important check for travelers is the local laws and customs of the countries and cities they are visiting.
Failure to do so, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) previously warned, tourists could face fines or even arrest.
Although carrying bottled water into a country or chewing gum on public transport are innocent acts, they can have consequences in some nations.
The FCDO regularly updates its travel advice and notes potential issues with overseas travel, and those leaving the UK’s borders are strongly advised to check out the Government’s website.
Express.co.uk has taken a look at some of the strangest laws implemented in certain countries that Brits abroad must follow.
Soft drugs can only be consumed in the Netherlands in coffee shops
The Netherlands has a reputation for being tolerant of drugs – but this only applies to so-called “soft” drugs, which can only be found and consumed in certain areas, called coffee shops, where they are not sold followed by alcoholic substances.
Anywhere else in the country, it is against the law to possess, sell or produce drugs.
The Dutch Government website reads: “The Dutch Public Prosecution Service does not prosecute members of the public for the possession or use of small amounts of soft drugs. They prosecute all other forms of possession, sale or production of soft or hard drugs.”
Those who break drug rules in the Netherlands are warned that they could be arrested and detained.
READ MORE: Migrants describe ‘road of death’ to reach Britain
St. Mark’s Square in Venice
Italy’s Swimming City is often associated with pigeons, due to the high number of birds that inhabit its narrow streets and its most iconic landmark, St. Mark’s Square.
Feeding these animals, however, can be a costly business for people caught by local authorities in the act.
Since 1997, the city has ruled tourists or locals who feed pigeons to be slapped with a fine. This regulation initially allowed people to feed the birds if they were in St. Mark’s Square, but the law was further tightened in 2008, when the landmark joined the rest of the city as a pigeon-free zone.
The fines currently range from £43 to £173, and aim to keep Venice clean of pigeon droppings – highly corrosive to stone and marble – and avoid the spread of disease.
Barcelona is one of Brito’s favorite destinations in Spain
Barcelona is one of the most popular destinations in Spain for Brits.
The city is perfect for a holiday in the sun with its beaches and for cultural tourism with its museums, churches and historical landmarks.
But people who want to visit Barcelona city center and go to the beach must remember to dress appropriately when leaving the seaside, as it is against the law to wear bikinis, swimming socks or go naked . the beach area.
Those who do not comply with this rule could be fined up to £260.
Chewing gum is prohibited on the Mass Rapid Transit system
Chewing gum is strictly prohibited on the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system in Singapore and offenders can be fined.
It is also against the law to import gums, and since 2004 only therapeutic, dental and nicotine chewing gum can be sold in the nation.
Singapore introduced a total ban on gum in 1992, as part of then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s attempt to make the country an “oasis” in terms of cleanliness and an efficient transport system among other benefits.
The efficient MRT system was linked to the chewing gum ban, as vandals were found to be sticking gums between the train doors, causing them to not close completely and, as a result, delaying services and raising the cost of maintenance.
Among the goods likely to be fined and confiscated at the Nigerian border is mineral water
The African country watches closely what is imported from people crossing its borders. Items likely to be fined and confiscated include mineral water.
The Government’s foreign travel advice page for Nigeria reads: “It is illegal to import beer, mineral water, soft drinks, sparkling wine, fruit, vegetables, cereals, eggs, textile fabrics, jewelery and precious metals.
“It is illegal to export pieces of African art, especially antiques, without written authorization from the Department of Antiquities.”
The website also warns against taking pictures of government, military buildings and airports, as it could lead to “arrest”.
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