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Is London currenlty safe for American travelers ?

Planned a trip to London for this December. The US government states to exercise extreme caution. Are there any other Americans deciding to change travel plans to the UK due to the political climate in Gaza?

Posted by
989 posts

The situation in Gaza has led to some anti semitic sentiment and violence, and as a result Jewish people and businesses are feeling pretty nervous.

If you are not Jewish or expecting to frequent Jewish venues then you are not at any increased risk in London.

Posted by
137 posts

We just finished a FaceTime call with our daughter and two young grandsons who live in London. We've communicated almost daily in the past two weeks and not once has anyone expressed any concern about safety due to the current situation. We will be in London early January and while anything could happen we have no concerns at this time.

Posted by
13904 posts

Thank you Helen for mentioning that.

Anyway, world events would not keep me from London. Or Paris.

And for those that are tempted to say harsh things to the OP, I think this is a very legitimate question. Please just scroll by if you are going to be dismissive of other's concerns.

Posted by
8642 posts

In 2015 I was in London when the Paris bombings took place.

A few days after the bombings London’s annual Lords Mayor parade was scheduled.

I was there to photograph it. After the bombings I expected it would be canceled. I was wrong.

I went early as I enjoy photographing the set up. I approached two bobbies and asked if there was going to be stepped up security. The older Bobbie replied “ London is always on terrorist alert!”

Go and enjoy yourself.

Posted by
4375 posts

It doesn't seem there is anything special about London. December would be all about Christmas. Everyone should make their own judgements about whether they are comfortable travelling or not, at any time.

If you're curious, you should start tracking Youtube videos by the London vlogger Hannah Ricketts. She really gets into Christmas shopping and decorations and in a recent Halloween video just couldn't wait to start getting into that particular holiday.

F&M already had some decorations up, just as a spoiler alert.

Posted by
2287 posts

If you're out and about and you venture into an area of heavy police / military presence (usually near synagogues and mosques) that signifies an area of high alert, it's probably best to go around rather than through the area, otherwise, just enjoy yourself.

Posted by
550 posts

While I wouldn't go so far as to say Helen's post is reactionary tabloid nonsense, I would very much doubt your personal safety is at any more risk than usual in reality, Jewish or otherwise. Throwing around accusations of "antisemitism" is not something I'd do so lightly. There's been protests against the Israeli government's actions in cities around the world. Decent, fair minded people support the innocents of both states and condemn the violence.

Posted by
8421 posts

Words are important. The State Department notice says "increased caution" not "extreme caution". travel advisory And thats for the whole UK and many other countries as well. We've seen that level of caution many times in the last twenty years.

It's not just a matter of semantics: inflammatory language blows things out of proportion. I use increased caution in my hometown on a daily basis.

Posted by
1 posts

I’m in a wait-and-see mode about traveling to Paris next month. I understand your concern. Once you’ve gathered as much information as you can, you’ll make the right decision for you.

Posted by
5674 posts

I think Pam is probably thinking of the Ismaili Centre, opened in 1985.

There was a big pro-Palestinian demonstration in London on Saturday and a Tube driver has been suspended for apparently supporting that demonstration in an on train PA announcement, which the Israeli embassy has seen fit to criticise- https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-67197942

As long as you steer clear of any demonstration or any obvious security operation there is no reason to think that you will be OK. As in any city in the world (including domestically in the US) it is of course impossible to rule out any terrorist incident (by either side in the war), but the UK intelligence services have not seen it as necessary to raise the security level to date. If they do then more high profile security will be put in place at key perceived targets.

Posted by
3745 posts

I agree with Pam, when she wrote "world events would not keep me from London."
I agree with the poster who said it might be a good idea to go around or to avoid an area where there is heavy police or military presence, if you see that.
The police or military could be near synagogues and mosques, if only to deter any violence before it gets started, or to control protestors.
I'm sure that's what Pam was thinking earlier, to avoid places where police are anticipating trouble and have gathered.
Sometimes there are threats made online that do not materialize into anything.
But police have to be ready in case people make good on their online threats.

"The State Department notice says increased caution" (thanks Stan) which means to me, keep your eyes open, the situation could change at a moments notice.

My husband and I have a trip to London and other parts of England planned for the spring. That will go on as planned, unless the UK intelligence services raise the security level.

I will suggest to the OP, Laura D., that you go ahead with your planned trip. Also remember that there are lovely areas outside of London to visit. If you are afraid of staying in London for fear something may happen, you could visit Bath, Salisbury, Oxford, the Cotswolds, or many other places to get your "England fix".

Posted by
989 posts

Gerry, Jewish people are reporting increased antisemitism and several Jewish schools have been closed because of either real or perceived threats. It really isn’t a case of ‘throwing around’ antisemitism. It’s listening to what people affected are telling us and reporting their concerns.

Posted by
13904 posts

I'll just add that in the US large religious buildings might be targets. It has NOTHING to do with the folks who worship there. It does have to do with what crazy people might try to do to the buildings and the people who use them.

Posted by
3099 posts

No, never occurred to me to cancel.
I have avoided areas for years in big cities where Embassies and Consulates are located.
If I see marches, demonstrations or parades anywhere at all, I go the other way immediately.

Posted by
6274 posts

It really isn’t a case of ‘throwing around’ antisemitism. It’s listening to what people affected are telling us and reporting their concerns.

Exactly. I agree with Helen and with Pam. Mentioning these places does not condone any kind of antisemitism or anti-Muslim behavior. But they're right to mention this as an area of concern.