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Sunday 30 April 2023

Could you unintentionally break the law when travelling?

Every country has different customs and laws that could land the unwary traveller in trouble.

Tourists have this week been warned of bizarre laws in popular destinations which could see them hit with fines, or even jailed, should they unknowingly break them.

A spokesperson for said: “Tourists should always research before jetting off on vacation so they don’t cut into their holiday budget by unknowingly breaking the law.

“Although some laws may not seem to make sense, holidaymakers must respect them else they could be fined or even locked up.

“Most tourists will not be intentionally setting out to break laws but will be unknowingly caught by unusual foreign rules they have never heard of before."

Here are some of the potential pitfalls identified by the team.

They include apparently harmless acts, like wearing high heels or stepping on money, which are illegal in particular parts of the world.

Malaga, in Spain, has recently introduced a flurry of fineable offences, including bans on inflatable sex dolls and blow-up penis costumes - likely only to be of concern to pissed-out-of-their-heads Brits.

In Greece, by law, it is forbidden to wear high heels to famous tourist attractions like the Acropolis (above) and the Epidarus Theatre in the Peloponnese region. This is to preserve the history and ancient stone ruins of iconic sites.

In Thailand, stepping on Thai currency is a crime and even accidentally standing on Thai notes could get tourists a hefty jail sentence. The act is seen as disrespectful to the king because Thai notes and coins contain an image of his face.

Jaywalking is walking in the street or road unlawfully without regard for approaching traffic, which is illegal in New York. Tourists from abroad who cross the road whenever they deem it safe often unknowingly break these laws and are issued fines by police officers.

In Dubai, public displays of affection, including kissing, hugging, and holding hands, is illegal and those found to be breaking the law could be imprisoned or deported.

More bizarrely, kissing at train stations is illegal in France. 

Farewell kisses were causing delays of train departures over a century ago. The law has been in place since 1910 to avoid delays and overcrowding on platforms, but nowadays there is no formal penalty imposed.

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