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Is your nasal spray illegal? Why you should know the law


Did you know that many common nasal sprays are illegal in Japan, or that it is against the law to wear camouflage in Barbados?

Thousands of British travellers are caught out each year by unfamiliar local laws and customs because they have not researched their destination before leaving home, resulting in hefty fines or being detained abroad.

The Foreign Office is encouraging holiday makers to research their holiday destination before they travel and potentially get themselves in to trouble.

It is important to remember that what is perfectly legal in the UK could carry a fine or even prison sentence in another country.

And it’s not just the unusual laws that you need to be aware of; smoking, alcohol and drug laws will vary and you should make sure you know the rules before you travel.

To find out about the local laws and customs for your holiday destination visit the FCO travel advice pages online.

FCO Travel Advice by Country

Don't get caught out by unexpected local laws, do your research before you travel.


Here some of the more unusual laws to be aware of:



- It is illegal to feed the pigeons in Venice.

- Chewing gum on the Mass Rapid Transit system in Singapore is strictly prohibited and will result in a fine.

- Although the Netherlands has a reputation for being tolerant on the use of soft drugs, this is only in designated areas. Being caught using or carrying prohibited substances can result in a prison sentence.

- In Florence, Italy, there are large fines for eating and drinking in the immediate vicinity of churches and public buildings.

- In Barbados it is an offence to wear camouflage clothing. It is illegal to take mineral water in to Nigeria.

- In the Maldives public observance of religion, other than Islam, is prohibited for locals and visitors.

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