The United States’ Department of State just issued a total of 15 new travel advisory updates yesterday as part of its ongoing commitment to keeping American travelers safe on their journeys abroad. Whilst it is the cast that most of the world has moved on from Covid-19 and international travel has finally returned to pre-pandemic levels, there are still plenty of other kinds of issues and threats to safety that travelers should be aware of before booking their trips – as the recent travel advisory updates prove.
From terrorism to kidnapping, natural disasters to petty crime, travel advisories are broad in their scope when it comes to keeping travelers up to date with issues around the world, and should form a key part of any traveler’s pre-vacation checklist. Here’s a look at which countries were included in the most recent round of travel advisory updates published yesterday, plus a reminder of what travel advisories are and the role they play in international travel.
What Are Travel Advisories? Information For Travelers
Travel advisory updates contain information that inform travelers of the risks they may encounter when traveling abroad. Every country in the world has a travel advisory page, whilst some countries have separate advisories for specific regions. Travel advisories are updated frequently, and come in four distinct levels – each with its own color – to allow travelers to quickly identify the risks they may incur when traveling to a specific part of the world. The four levels and their colors are as follows:
- Level 1 – Exercise Normal Precautions (Blue)
- Level 2 – Exercise Increased Caution (Yellow)
- Level 3 – Reconsider Travel (Orange)
- Level 4 – Do Not Travel (Red)
Travel advisories cover both serious issues and regular, every day threats travelers may face, such as crime, terrorism, civil unrest, health, natural disasters, time-limited events, kidnapping and others. Whilst Level 4’s Do Not Travel wording may be strong, travel advisories cannot legally prevent a traveler from visiting a destination, serving only to advise travelers of the risks involved in doing so. As a result of the pandemic, each travel advisory page also carries a section from the CDC, indicating the level of Covid-19 in the country. This can be either unknown, low, moderate or high.
Update Travel Advisories – What Travelers Should Know
The latest travel advisory updates were published just yesterday, and featured 15 countries. Each of the travel advisory system’s four levels were included. Four countries were issued Level 1 advisories, indicating they are amongst the safest countries in the world. They are:
- Hungary – the CDC indicates there is an unknown level of Covid-19 in the country
- Saba – according to the CDC, there is a low level of Covid-19 in Saba
- North Macedonia – the country has a moderate level of Covid-19
- Sweden – high level of Covid-19
A further four countries were handed Level 2 advisories, indicating that travelers should exercise increased caution in these destinations. Jordan, which has a moderate level of Covid-19, was handed a Level 2 advisory due to the risk of terrorism – as was Morocco, which the CDC indicates has a high level of the virus. Mozambique – whose level of Covid-19 is unknown, was designated as a Level 2 destination due to health issues, crime and terrorism. The Solomon Islands have also been put into Level 2 due to low Covid-19 vaccination, with the country also carrying an unknown level of Covid-19.
Four countries were also issued a Level 3 advisory. Their details are as follows:
- China – reconsider travel to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws and Covid-19-related restrictions. The CDC indicates China has a low level of Covid-19
- Guatemala – reconsider travel to Guatemala due to crime. Do not travel to San Marcos Department, Huehuetenango Department or Zone 18. The country has a high level of Covid-19
- Lebanon – reconsider travel to Lebanon due to crime, terrorism, armed conflict, civil unrest, kidnapping and Embassy Beirut’s limited capacity to provide support to U.S. citizens. There is a moderate level of Covid-19 in the country.
- Vanuatu – reconsider travel to Vanuatu due to Covid-19-related restrictions. Covid-19 level is unknown.
Finally, three countries were issued Level 4 updates – the highest level that the system offers. Travelers have been told not to travel to Haiti – which has an unknown level of Covid-19 – due to kidnapping, crime, and civil unrest. Hong Kong is also a Level 4 country, with travelers recommended not to visit due to Covid-19-related restrictions, including the risk of parents and children being separated. The country has a high level of Covid-19. Travelers are also advised not to travel to Iran due to the risk of kidnapping and the arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens; the country has an unknown level of Covid-19.
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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