THE Foreign Office has issued a number of warnings as thousands of people prepare to travel for Christmas markets.

The warning is for a "general threat" across much of eastern Europe, including France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Belgium and Austria.

For all locations, the warning reads: "There is a general threat from terrorism.

"There may be increased security in place over the Christmas and New Year period, including at major events that might attract large crowds.

"You should remain vigilant and follow the advice of local authorities."

The warning follows a number of attacks at Christmas markets in recent years.

In December of 2018, a gunman launched an attack at the popular Christkindelsmärik in Strasbourg, France.

Police branded the incident, which killed five and injured 11, an act of terrorism.

Two years earlier, a truck was driven into the Christmas market in Berlin, Germany, leaving 12 dead and 56 injured.

The incident marked the deadliest terrorist attack in the country since 1980, when 13 people were killed at Oktoberfest in Munich.

Last week, the Home Office lowered the UK terror threat level from "severe" to "substantial" for the first time in five years.

But Home Secretary Priti Patel said the UK was still at "a high level of threat" and an attack could "occur without further warning".