The U.S. State Department has just issued new travel advisory updates for nearly every country in the world. Handy guides that keep travelers in the loop regarding the safety of countries and help them to make informed travel decisions, travel advisories are useful tools curated by the Department of State that should always be consulted by travelers before deciding which countries to visit on vacation.
Travel advisories were issued on an almost daily basis at the height of the pandemic. The decision to issue new travel advisory updates to nearly every country represents a significant policy shift by the State Department and is further evidence of the decision to move away from considering Covid-19 a significant barrier to global travel. Here’s a recap of how the State Department’s travel advisory system works, what the different levels are, and where each country has been placed.
What Are Travel Advisories? Information For Travelers
Travel advisories come in four separate warning levels. Countries are placed into these categories depending on the risks travelers face when visiting. They are as follows:
- Level 1 – Exercise Normal Precautions – the lowest travel advisory level reserved for the safest countries
- Level 2 – Exercise Increased Caution – awarded to countries that are mostly safe with perhaps a few areas of concern travelers should be aware of
- Level 3 – Reconsider Travel – given to countries where the threat to travelers is so strong that they should reconsider their plans
- Level 4 – Do Not Travel – countries placed into this level carry such a strong risk of harm to travelers that they are advised not to visit
Level 1 Countries
The following countries have been placed into Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions
Andorra, Angola, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Aruba, Austria, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Cabo Verde, Canada, Comoros, Croatia, Curacao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Finland, French Guiana, French West Indies, Gabon, Georgia, Greece, Grenada, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Argentina, Australia, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mongolia, Montserrat, Namibia, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, Paraguay, Qatar, Rwanda, Saba, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and The Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Singapore, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, South Korea, Suriname, Thailand, The Gambia, The Kyrgyz Republic, Togo, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Zambia.
Level 2 Countries
The following countries have been placed into Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution
Albania, Antarctica, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Eritrea, Eswatini, France, Germany, Ghana, Guinea, Italy, Kenya, Kosovo, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Netherlands, Serbia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Israel, The West Bank and Gaza, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Laos, Maldives, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Oman, Panama, Philippines, Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Solomon Island, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Tanzania, The Bahamas, Timor-Leste, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uruguay, Zimbabwe.
Level 3 Countries
The following countries have been placed into Level 3: Reconsider Travel
Azerbaijan, Burundi, Cayman Islands, Chad, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Moldova, China, Egypt, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Japan, Kiribati, Lebanon, Macau, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Micronesia, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, Uganda.
Level 4 Countries
The following countries have been placed into Level 4: Do Not Travel
Belarus, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Mali, Russia, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Burma (Myanmar), Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tonga, Venezuela, Yemen, Haiti.
Non Categorized Special Travel Advisory: Mexico
The United States now issues travel advisories for each individual state in Mexico that range from level 1 to level 4. See individual state warnings.
Whilst traveling to a Level 4 country is not advisable due to the risks travelers may face, the State Department has no legal power to prevent a traveler from going through with their travel plans and visiting.
The final decision always lies with the traveler. Regardless of the advisory level of the country you are planning on visiting, a strong travel insurance policy should always be taken out to ensure you are covered should anything go wrong.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com