The US Department of State issued yet more Do Not Travel warnings yesterday as part of its ongoing efforts to keep travelers safe whilst abroad. Included in yesterday’s latest updates was Mexico, the most popular international destination for American travelers, with the decision expected to have a sizable impact on travel between the two countries. Notably for American travelers, several other South American and Caribbean destinations were also subject to updated travel advisories during yesterday’s announcements.
Fortunately for travelers, Do Not Travel warnings are only advisories and are not compulsory, with travelers free to still proceed to such destinations if they want to – but travel advisory updates should always be consulted prior to traveling. Here’s a look at the latest travel advisory updates from yesterday, what the different travel advisory levels mean and what impact the updates could have on travel.
Travel Advisory Updates – What Travelers Should Know
Yesterday’s travel advisory updates saw a range of countries handed Level 3 and Level 4 travel advisory updates – the two most severe warning levels that the State Department issues to international destinations. Travelers planning trips to Level 3 destinations are advised to reconsider travel, whilst those with intentions of visiting a country with a Level 4 travel advisory warning are explicitly told Do Not Travel due to the supposed risk to the traveler in that country.
A range of factors are carefully scrutinized before a country has been given a warning level. The risk that issues such as crime, terrorism, civil unrest, health issues and natural disasters pose to travelers are taken into consideration, along with other determiners such as the embassy’s ability to help and aid those who run into difficulty whilst in the country. Unsurprisingly, Covid-19 plays a significant role in a country’s warning level at present, with the virus being one of the key reasons why travelers are being told not to travel to Mexico.
Mexico’s travel advisory page warns perspective travelers of the threat of violent crime and kidnapping, but Covid-19 is cited as the main reason that the country has been handed the Do Not Travel warning. Mexico is currently averaging just below 37,000 cases of the virus per day, with the volume of cases having spiked significantly since the turn of the new year.
Whilst the travel advisory itself may not be enough to keep travelers away, developments in the country over the past few weeks might. The Covid-19 situation has led to some tourist areas being monitored in a bid to slow the spread of cases, whilst some popular destinations have also implemented new restrictions. Long hailed as a relatively restriction-free destination, Mexico is bound to be facing a stern test from a travel perspective over the next few weeks.
Mexico wasn’t the only country to receive a Do Not Travel warning from the State Department. The following countries were also awarded severe Level 4 advisories:
Singapore, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Philippines, Peru, Paraguay, Moldova, Mexico, Kosovo, Ecuador, Brazil, Belarus, Anguilla.
As one might expect, Covid-19 featured prominently in each of the countries’ travel advisory pages. Travelers should familiarise themselves with a country’s page before deciding whether or not to travel.
There were also several Level 3 updates, affecting the following countries:
The Gambia, Nepal, Oman, Liberia, Honduras, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, French Polynesia, Comoros, Chile, Brunei, Bhutan
Travelers heading to these countries are asked to reconsider travel. No Level 1 or Level 2 updates were issued. Regardless of destination, it is advised that travelers always ensure they travel with a solid travel insurance policy.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com