Pro-democracy unrest in parts of Africa and the Middle East has inspired a veritable flood of Canadian government travel warnings in recent weeks.
The demonstrations started in Tunisia, spread to Egypt and now much of the region is caught up in anti-government protests, many of which are turning violent.
The Foreign Affairs Department has issued numerous travel advisories and official warnings in the last month regarding Tunisia, Egypt, Djibouti and Yemen, among others.
Most recently, the department warned against non-essential travel to Libya, where continuing clashes between protesters and security forces have led to at least 200 deaths.
"Canadians are advised to avoid all gatherings and demonstrations and to stay away from places where they may occur as they may turn violent without warning," said an advisory issued Friday.
"Canadians should monitor local news reports, take appropriate steps to increase their personal security and contact the Canadian Embassy in Tripoli for assistance and advice."
The United States State Department said U.S. Embassy dependents were being encouraged to leave Libya and U.S. citizens were urged to defer nonessential travel to the country.
Canada's Foreign Affairs Department is still advising against non-essential travel to Egypt, even though demonstrations have largely subsided since Hosni Mubarek resigned his presidency 10 days ago.
Foreign Affairs says Egypt's security situation remains unstable.
"Although the security situation is improving, there is a risk of deteriorating conditions, which could include further demonstrations, restrictions on movement in major cities, further hotel property damage or closures, and restricted access to tourist attractions."
A midnight-to-6 a.m. curfew remains in effect throughout the country.
As with other dangerous areas, the department says Canadians are "strongly encouraged" to register their travel details on the Registration of Canadians Abroad database.
"They should also be extremely vigilant, avoid all unnecessary movement, avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, monitor local news reports, follow the advice of local authorities and keep a supply of basic foods on hand."
Security has improved in popular tourist areas of Tunisia and curfews have been lifted since countrywide demonstrations forced former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to resign and flee the country.
Nevertheless, travellers "should exercise a high degree of caution when travelling to coastal areas of Tunisia," says the department.
"The situation is improving and public order has been restored in some areas," says its latest advisory, but demonstrations and unrest continue elsewhere.
"A state of emergency remains in effect in Tunis and other areas."
Canadians should monitor local media and avoid public gatherings and all demonstrations "as they may become violent without warning," says the travel advisory, updated last Wednesday.
It warns against non-essential travel to the central, western, and southern areas of Tunisia "due to the unpredictable security situation."
Foreign Affairs is also advising against all travel to Yemen and non-essential travel to Nigeria, Bahrain and Djibouti, all of which are considered unsafe at the best of times due to continuing crime, terrorism and conflict.
Foreign Affairs says their security situations have deteriorated due to violent confrontations in recent days and weeks.
"Canadian officials may not be in a position to provide consular assistance to Canadians in some parts of the country (mostly outside urban areas) due to security concerns," says the advisory on Yemen.
"The security situation remains fragile and unpredictable," it notes.
"Demonstrations have been occurring regularly and often turn into violent clashes between the security forces and the protesters, causing widespread arrests, injuries and deaths."
In Nigeria, tensions are rising as April elections approach, says Foreign Affairs, and "violence and unrest may occur."
"Canadians are strongly advised to remain vigilant, avoid large crowds and demonstrations, follow the advice of local authorities, and monitor local media," it says.
- With a report from Reuters