The US Department of State has issued several new travel advisory warnings to a range of countries, with the Caribbean in particular set to be affected by the latest updates. Of the 23 travel advisory updates to be issued just yesterday, ten of them were handed out to countries located in the Caribbean – with the updates coming at a time when several countries in the region have been making sweeping changes to their Covid-19 related entry requirements.
Fortunately for travelers, it’s not all bad news, with almost half of the countries implicated in yesterday’s updates awarded the less severe Level 1 and Level 2 warning status, and just two destinations being handed a Level 4 warning. Here’s a recap of what these warning levels and advisories mean for travelers, plus a look at which countries were included in yesterday’s travel advisory updates.
What Are The Warning Levels? Information For Travelers
Travel in the age of Covid-19 isn’t always easy, with entry restrictions and requirements changing so frequently. Fortunately for travelers, the State Department’s travel advisory system is very easy for travelers to understand, and can provide an overview of the risks associated with visiting a destination in a quick, efficient manner. A range of factors are considered, from health concerns to crime and terrorism risks, before a judgement is made.
Travel advisory warning levels are color-coded, allowing travelers to quickly ascertain how safe it is to visit, and countries are split into four distinct warning levels. These warning levels are as follows:
- Level 1 warnings (blue) – this is the lowest threat level for travelers, and asks travelers to exercise normal precautions in that destination
- Level 2 warnings (yellow) – these ask travelers to exercise increased caution in that country
- Level 3 warnings (orange) – these ask travelers to reconsider travel to that destination
- Level 4 warnings (red) – these are the most severe, and explicitly warn travelers not to travel to a specific country
New Advisory Updates – What Travelers Should Know
Yesterday’s travel advisory updates saw all four of the system’s warning levels used, as countries mainly from the Caribbean and Africa received updates. Receiving Level 4 updates yesterday were Mauritius and Burkina Faso – but they both branded Level 4 for completely different reasons. Whilst Mauritius’ page warns solely of the risk of Covid-19 in the country, Burkina Faso’s page asks travelers not to visit due to the risk of terrorism, crime and kidnapping in the country.
Receiving Level 3 updates were the following countries:
British Virgin Islands, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mauritania, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, The Bahamas, The Kyrgyz Republic and Turks and Caicos Islands.
Several of these countries have recently eased their entry restrictions, and so the decision to award them Level 3 status could well have a negative impact on their planned tourism levels. The Dominican Republic and Jamaica – two countries popular with American travelers – were handed Level 3 updates due to the risk of Covid-19 and crime.
The rest of yesterday’s travel advisory update is as follows:
Level 2: Gabon and Liberia
Level 1: Angola, Comoros, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Saba, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal and Zambia
Given their low travel advisory warning levels, these countries are considered amongst the safest in the world. However, travelers should make sure they carefully read the travel advisory of any destination they’re heading visiting to ensure they are aware of any potential issues they may encounter.
It is also worth remembering that these updates are only advisories; whilst they should be taken seriously, travelers are not prevented from visiting these countries should they still wish to do so. As long as travelers are respectful, informed and armed with a solid travel insurance policy, travel to most destinations on the planet can be done in a safe but enjoyable way.
Traveler Alert: Don’t Forget Travel Insurance For Your Next Trip!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com