The US State Department has issued 11 new travel advisories this week. Whilst the number of the most severe “Level 4” travel advisories being issued has fallen significantly in recent months, the State Department remains hard at work surveying all of the travel and safety issues in countries all over the world in a bid to keep US travelers safe and informed, culminating in 11 new updates for travelers to take notice of this week.
As well as travel advisories being issued by the State Department, each country is also handed a warning level from the CDC that relates to the level of Covid-19, with the virus still very much prevalent despite the easing of restrictions around the world. Here’s a reminder of how the travel advisory system works for travelers, which countries received updates this week and what the issues in those countries are.
Travel Advisories – A Recap For Travelers
Travel advisories are warnings issued by the US Department of State for every country in the world. They keep travelers up to date with the issues they may face when traveling abroad, such as crime, terrorism and health concerns that are present in that destination. Usually a warning is issued to a whole country, but specific regional advisories are also handed where necessary.
Both travel advisories from the State Department and Travel Health Notices from the CDC come in four distinct levels, with Level 1 being the least severe and Level 4 being the most severe. Travelers thinking of visiting a Level 4 country are warned not to travel to that destination, but travel advisories do not legally prevent a traveler from visiting that country. The decision to do so or not is down to the traveler, with the advisories making them aware of the risks they may face.
Travel Advisory Updates – What Travelers Should Know
The recent travel advisory updates handed out just yesterday by the State Department featured three of the four warning levels available – Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3. The absence of a Level 4 travel advisory in this round of updates is encouraging for travelers, suggesting that the situation is returning to normal after the spread of Covid-19 led to Level 4 updates becoming a regular occurrence.
Level 1 warning levels – which recommend that travelers exercise normal precautions in that destination – were attributed to the following:
- Mongolia; the CDC reports that this country has a low level of Covid-19
- Anguilla; CDC indicates there is a moderate level of Covid-19 in the country
- Antigua and Barbuda; CDC indicates there is a moderate level of Covid-19 in the country
- French Polynesia; travelers should be aware that the CDC indicates that it has a high level of Covid-19
- Lesotho; this country also has a high level of Covid-19 according to the CDC
- Slovenia; the CDC reports this European destination has a high level of Covid-19
The Level 2 updates are as follows:
- Jordan – travelers should exercise increased caution due to the risk of terrorism in the country. Specifically, travelers should avoid the border with Syria, refugee camps and the areas of Zarqa, Rusayfah, and the Baqa’a neighborhood of Ayn Basha due to terrorism and crime. The CDC states it has a moderate level of Covid-19.
- Zimbabwe – the country carries a high risk of crime, and has unknown levels of Covid-19 according to the CDC
Finally, the Level 3 updates are:
- Lebanon – travelers should reconsider travel to Lebanon due to crime, terrorism, armed conflict, civil unrest, kidnapping and the limited capacity of the Embassy to assist with issues. The borders with Syria and Israel should be avoided. The CDC also indicates that it has a high level of Covid-19
- Sri Lanka – the country is experiencing fuel and medicine shortages, and carries a risk of terrorism. The CDC states it has a low level of Covid-19
- Taiwan – travelers should reconsider travel due to Covid-19 related restrictions; the country currently has high levels of Covid-19 according to the CDC.
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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