19 Feb 2011

MFAT strengthens Bahrain travel advice

7:00 am on 19 February 2011

The unrest in Bahrain has prompted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to update its travel advice for New Zealanders in, and going to, the country.

Bahrain's army has sealed off a square in the capital, Manama, where violence was used to clear a camp set up by anti-government protesters.

Several days of rallies there have turned violent, with six people reportedly killed and more than 200 injured.

The ministry says people should avoid the areas of unrest, monitor the media and take advice of local authorities.

It's also urging travellers to the Middle East to register their details on the Safetravel website, which will help embassy staff contact New Zealanders if there's an emergency.

The ministry has lowered its travel advisory for Egypt from extreme to high-risk but is still advising against all tourist and other non-essential travel due to the country's unpredictable security situation.