The US government updated its travel advisory warnings for a number of countries yesterday, including popular destinations with American travelers such as The Bahamas. In total, 17 countries received updates to their travel advisories, with a wide range of locations such as the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, Asia and South America each being affected.
Designed by the US Department of State to keep American cirizens safe when traveling abroad, the travel advisory system is updated regularly to reflect the situation in each country, with the majority of updates at present representing a change to the Covid-19 situation. Yesterday’s updates saw changes to Level 4 – the most serious warning level – as well as Level 3 and Level 2. Here’s a closer look at what has changed, and why they have changed.
Level 4 Updates – Information For Travelers
Level 4 is the most severe warning level that the Department of State offers, explicitly informing Americans not to travel to a specific country. In the recent raft of updates by the government, six countries were handed updated Level 4 travel advisory notices – The Bahamas, Sint Maarten, Morocco, Lebanon, Kosovo and Haiti. The primary concern on each country’s specific travel advisory page is Covid-19, though other concerns – such as crime, terrorism and civil unrest – are also listed amongst concerns in some of these countries.
Each of the aforementioned countries has also been handed a Level 4 Travel Health Notice from the CDC. According to the CDC’s classification system, countries that receive a Level 4 warning have a “very high” level of Covid-19, indicating more than 500 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days. The advice of the government is not to travel to these countries for any reason at this time, though travelers are not legally prevented from doing so.
Level 3 Updates – Information For Travelers
Level 3 is the second-highest tier of travel advisory notice, asking Americans to reconsider travel to any country placed into this category. Yesterday’s changes saw nine updates to Level 3 destinations – the countries affected are Uganda, Serbia, Paraguay, Nigeria, Liechtenstein, Bulgaria, Brunei, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania. Much like with the Level 4 updates, the primary concern is Covid-19 – but it is not the only concern.
Out of the above countries designated as Level 3 by the CDC, some have been handed Level 3 Travel Health Notices, whilst others have only been assigned Level 2 Travel Health Notices. The countries with Level 3 Travel Health Notices – indicating a high level of Covid-19 – are Serbia, Paraguay, Liechtenstein, Bulgaria, Brunei, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania. Uganda has a Level 2 Travel Health notice, meaning the country has a moderate level of Covid-19.
Countries are assigned a Level 3 Travel Health Notice if they have registered between 100 and 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the previous 28 days. Those that receive a Level 2 Travel Health Notice have recorded between 50-99 new cases per 100,000 residents in the last 28 days.
Level 2 Updates – Information For Travelers
The State Department also handed out Level 2 travel advisory notices to two countries yesterday – Bermuda and the Republic of the Congo. Level 2 means that travelers are asked to exercise increased caution in these countries. Bermuda has a Level 2 Travel Health Notice due to a moderate level of Covid-19 in the country, whilst the Republic of the Congo has a Level 1 Travel Health Notice, indicating low levels of the virus, but travelers are also warned of the threat of crime and civil unrest in the country.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories