The US Department of State has issued a total of 17 new travel advisory warnings over the past few days as part of the country’s ongoing efforts to keep American travelers safe and sound when traveling around the world. The update saw changes that included all of the warning levels, from Level 1 to Level 4, reflecting the different threat levels that travelers can expect to face around the world.
A guide that is consistently updated thanks to the help of experts and embassy staff, the travel advisory updates have helped to keep travelers safe long before the pandemic began, and have proved to be a valuable resource for travelers planning their trips. Here’s a look at the new travel advisory updates, plus a look at the travel warning levels of some of the favourite destinations of American travelers ahead of the restrictions easing soon.
Travel Advisory Updates – What Travelers Should Know
The most recent raft of travel advisory updates posted by the State Department included several updates to countries categorized as Level 4 destinations. The most severe travel advisory available, Level 4 warnings explicitly tell travelers Do Not Travel. Four countries were categorized as Level 4 in the most recent updates – Ukraine, Mali, Libya and Lebanon. As one might expect, Covid-19 had a significant impact on their designation.
Ukraine, Libya and Lebanon each mentioned Covid-19 as a reason travelers should not travel there – but it wasn’t the only reason. Ukraine’s page lists the threat of crime and civil unrest alongside Covid-19, whilst Libya’s page highlighted the risk of crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping and armed conflict. Lebanon’s page asks travelers to reconsider travel due to crime, terrorism, armed conflict, civil unrest, kidnapping and Embassy Beirut’s limited capacity to provide support to U.S. citizens, and Mali’s page states there is a risk of crime, terrorism and kidnapping.
A number of countries were also handed a Level 3 travel advisory notice, which recommends travelers reconsider travel to these destinations. Colombia, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Indonesia, Guatemala, French West Indies, Egypt, Dominican Republic and the Cayman Islands faced updates as Level 3 countries. Each country’s page highlighted Covid-19 as a reason for their designation, alongside other potential health and safety concerns.
There were also updates to Level 1 and 2 countries. The Kyrgyz Republic and Kuwait were placed into the Level 1 category, which recommends that travelers exercise normal precautions in order to stay safe in the country. Facing Level 2 updates were the likes of Namibia and Oman; travelers heading to Level 2 countries are asked to exercise increased caution.
On November 8th, several restrictions are being lifted, which could see more travel between the US, UK and the EU. At present, the UK is listed as a Level 4 country, reflecting its high levels of Covid-19, whilst popular EU destinations such as Spain, Italy, France and Germany currently have Level 3 travel advisory warnings.
Whilst the travel advisory warnings may carry some strong language, there is no legal framework in place to prevent a traveler from visiting. The advisory notices are purely advisory, and travelers should ensure they read the advisory page for their destination before traveling. Having a solid travel insurance policy is recommended.
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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