During the past week, the Department of State in the US issued several new travel advisory warnings for American travelers to be aware of ahead of the country’s huge easing of travel restrictions that took place today. The updates saw changes to a number of Level 4 travel advisories – the strictest level offered by the warning system – along with updates to several more Level 3 and Level 2 countries.
Amongst the countries that received travel advisory warning updates in the last week were a handful of countries that are members of the European Union. With travel numbers between the EU and the US expected to grow dramatically in the coming weeks as a result of the changing of the restrictions, travelers should be aware of the situation at popular destinations on the continent. Here’s a closer look at last week’s updates.
Changes To Travel Advisories – What Travelers Should Know
An essential platform for any traveler who wants to learn about potential risks they may face in a foreign destination, the US’ travel advisories have been diligently updated throughout the pandemic in an effort to keep travelers from the US safe around the world, even during a time when travel numbers are unprecedentedly low. The past week saw updates to the travel advisories posted on both the 2nd and 6th of November – just days before the US eased its travel restrictions.
The update posted on the 2nd November saw ten travel advisory updates listed on the State Department’s website. The update consisted of Level 2, 3 and 4 warnings, and features countries from several different continents. The countries which received updated Level 4 travel advisory warnings posted are Belgium, Burkina Faso, Russia and Slovakia, whilst the Level 3 updates were for Jamaica, Marshall Islands, Laos and Poland.
As one might expect, the prevalence of Covid-19 features prominently as the reason why travelers have been told not to travel to the Level 4 destinations. Russia is currently experiencing another wave of cases, registering close to 40,000 daily cases, whilst the other countries have also been deemed to have unsafe levels of Covid-19 within their borders. Slovakia is the only country to solely be at Level 4 for Covid-19, with a range of other reasons listed on the pages of the other Level 4 countries. These include threats such as terrorism, kidnapping and crime.
Covid-19 also features heavily on the countries that received Level 2 and 3 travel advisory updates. Travelers are advised to reconsider travel to Poland and Jamaica due Covid-19, whereas the pages of the Marshall Islands, Laos and Fiji warn travelers of the impact of Covid-19 related travel restrictions imposed in these areas. Level 2 country Guinea’s page does not warn travelers of Covid-19 in the country, but advises travelers to exercise increased caution due to civil unrest.
The update posted on November 6th only saw an update to one country. Ethiopia was designated as a Level 4 country. Its page asks travelers not to visit “due to armed conflict, civil unrest, communications disruptions, crime, and the potential for terrorism and kidnapping in border areas.”
Whilst travel advisories should be taken seriously by travelers, they are not legally binding and cannot prevent a traveler from heading to a country if they wish to do so. Those heading to Level 3 and 4 countries are recommended to purchase strong travel insurance policies that will keep them covered in the event that something does go wrong.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com