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U.S. Issues Travel Advisory Updates For 23 Countries

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The US Department of State has issued several new travel advisory updates, with some of the most popular travel destinations around the world such as Thailand on the receiving end of Level 4 Do Not Travel warnings. The updates, which were published on the State Department’s website just yesterday, saw a range of countries issued with new updates that covered a range of different warning levels, from relatively safe Level 1 updates to the more serious Level 4 updates. 

Though they form an important part of a traveler’s research prior to taking a trip abroad, travel advisories don’t actually prevent a traveler from heading to a specific destination. Here’s a recap of what the advisories actually mean, a look at which countries received updated advisories yesterday and why travelers shouldn’t go ahead and postpone their travel plans just yet.

Travel Advisories Explained – What Travelers Should Know

Travel advisories are color-coded, and come with four distinct warning levels that represent the threats posed to travelers heading to that country. These are as follows: 

  1. Level 1 warnings, which ask travelers to exercise normal precautions in that destination
  2. Level 2 warnings, which ask travelers to exercise increased caution in that country
  3. Level 3 warnings, which ask travelers to reconsider travel 
  4. Level 4 warnings, which explicitly warn travelers do not travel to a specific country 

Determining a country’s travel advisory warning level takes into account a range of different criteria. Amongst the issues being assessed by the State Department are problems such as crime, terrorism, civil unrest, health issues and natural disasters. As one may expect, Covid-19 has played a key role in what travel advisory level a country receives, but it is just one of several issues that American travelers have to worry about when abroad. 

Updated Travel Advisories – What Travelers Should Know

A total of 23 countries received travel advisory updates yesterday, covering all four of the travel advisory levels. They are as follows:

Level 4 – Thailand, New Zealand, Ethiopia

Level 3 – United Arab Emirates, Uganda, Philippines, Niger, Mauritania, Fiji, Cote D’Ivoire, Anguilla 

Level 2 – The Gambia, Senegal, Republic of the Congo, Namibia, Mozambique, Kenya, Equatorial Guinea, Djibouti, Angola

Level 1 – Togo, Rwanda, Lesotho 

Thailand and New Zealand being handed Level 4 travel advisories is bound to affect thousands of travelers, particularly given the two countries had recently made it easier for travelers to be able to visit. The Philippines also recently relaxed their entry requirements, and could also face a drop in projected traveler numbers at the hands of their Level 3 travel advisory warning level. 

Whilst Thailand and New Zealand’s pages cite the sole risk travelers face as Covid-19, fellow Level 4 country Ethiopia’s page warns of the risk of “armed conflict, civil unrest, communications disruptions, crime, and the potential for terrorism and kidnapping in border areas,” highlighting the range of issues travel advisories take into account. Covid-19 remains a factor in the warning level of most of the countries updated yesterday, but travelers should visit the page of any destinations they are thinking of visiting so that they know the risks in that country. 

Regardless of a country’s warning level, these updates are advisory in nature, and cannot legally prevent a traveler from heading to an international destination. Providing that a traveler has done their homework, followed the guidance of the CDC and purchased a strong travel insurance policy just in case, travel to Level 4 countries such as Thailand can be perfectly safe. 

Hand Holding US Passport

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brian harrington

Friday 18th of March 2022

I say put America on the list we have lots of crime here never had any problem in southeast Asia or in Asia here in America I had 2 people who wanted to kill me for no reason go fig that one out

Dysterbed

Thursday 10th of March 2022

Let's just make up numbers and make people react to them.

Dr Dalip Khetarpal

Thursday 10th of March 2022

That's wonderful! Would be a great tourist resort.

Stephen Suley

Tuesday 8th of March 2022

So NZ with the harshest lockdowns and isolations policies for years has given them.....nothing. They are now being slammed by the same waves we all had and the same deaths. Civil freedoms trampled,rights stripped away, mothers and fathers arrested and taken away from children for protesting the policies all for the "greater good" because it was the "morally" right decision to make. What a load of unscientific garbage and propaganda pushed onto us from the gov'ts and media for the last two years.

Travellers take note if you like what has happened to Russia for hurting the people of Ukraine then you should probably not go to NZ and give and of the gov'ts your money.

Jennifer Bortz

Thursday 10th of March 2022

New Zealand is beautiful and next to Australia; the nicest people I've ever encountered.

@Stephen White,

Bill

Thursday 10th of March 2022

@Stephen White, while NZ might be having some issues right now, deciding right now that you're not ever going to NZ will only be your loss. In 2017 we spent 22 days there wandering around both islands and it was the most beautiful place and vacation we have ever been on. And for me, that is really saying something, as I traveled the world professionally as a flight attendant for 44 years and have seen an awful lot of this planet. Once NZ issues calm down, first on our list will be another lengthy return there. Best of luck to you, stay healthy and safe.

Bill

Monica

Thursday 10th of March 2022

@Stephen White, why what's happened with New Zealand?

Emily

Wednesday 9th of March 2022

@Stephen White, thank you for saying it how it is!

Stephen White

Tuesday 8th of March 2022

@Stephen Suley, NZ made it clear they don't want any tourists. Fine by me, I have plenty of alternatives. I just know I won't be traveling to NZ, ever.