U.S. State Department Issues 6 New Travel Advisory Updates
The United State’s Department of State has just issued six new travel advisory updates as part of its commitment to keeping American travelers as safe as possible on their travels around the world. Posted to the State Department’s website just yesterday, the latest round of travel advisory updates are the fourth set of updates to be published already this month, and they cover a wide range of potential headaches that travelers could encounter on their trips abroad, such as crime, terrorism and civil unrest.
Whether you’re a traveler carrying out some last-minute research before planning a trip, or someone who has already booked but wants to know how to stay safe when abroad, travel advisory updates should always play a key role in your pre-travel checklist. Here’s a look at the latest updates to be published by the State Department, plus a recap of what travel advisories are and the role they play in travel.
Travel Advisories – A Guide For Travelers
Travel advisories are handy, detailed guides that tell travelers all they need to know about the risks associated with visiting destinations around the world. A range of sources of information are considered, such as intelligence, official statistics and reports from local embassies, before the State Department issues each destination with a specific warning level based on the types and the severity of the risks that travelers may encounter should they decide to visit that country.
There are four distinct levels that each destination could be awarded, with Level 1 being the least severe and Level 4 the most severe. They are as follows:
- Level 1 – Exercise Normal Precautions
- Level 2 – Exercise Increased Precautions
- Level 3 – Reconsider Travel
- Level 4 – Do Not Travel
In addition to receiving a warning level from the State Department, each destination’s travel advisory page also contains information from the CDC about the level of Covid-19 in the country. Despite the strict wording of the travel advisory levels, they do not contain the power to prevent a traveler from visiting a specific destination.
Latest Travel Advisory Updates – Information For Travelers
In yesterday’s round of travel advisory updates, two countries were handed Level 1 travel advisories, meaning they are considered to be amongst the safest destinations to visit in the world at present. Comoros received a Level 1 travel advisory, and the CDC stated the country has an unknown level of Covid-19. Sao Tome and Principe also received a Level 1 travel advisory, with the CDC stating there is a low level of Covid-19 in the country at present.
Two more countries were handed Level 2 travel advisories, which ask travelers to exercise increased precautions when visiting. Nepal received a Level 2 travel advisory due to the potential for isolated political violence, whilst the Philippines were handed a Level 2 advisory due to concerns about crime, terrorism, civil unrest and kidnapping in the country. Both countries were deemed to have high levels of Covid-19 at present according to the CDC.
Only one country received a Level 3 travel advisory, which recommends that travelers reconsider travel. That country was Guinea-Bissau. According to the State Department, visiting the West African country puts travelers at risk of civil unrest and crime, following prolonged periods of political instability. The CDC has stated that the country has an unknown level of Covid-19, which could pose further risks to travelers.
Finally, only one country received a Level 4 travel advisory yesterday – Russia. Whilst choosing not to visit the country might seem obvious at present, the country’s travel advisory page warns travelers not to visit due to “the unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces, the potential for harassment against U.S. citizens by Russian government security officials, the singling out of U.S. citizens in Russia by Russian government security officials including for detention, the arbitrary enforcement of local law, limited flights into and out of Russia, the Embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in Russia, COVID-19-related restrictions, and terrorism.” On top of that, the CDC has stated that the country has a high level of Covid-19.