The US Department of State has been hard at work ensuring the health and well-being of American citizens both at home and abroad are being looked after, and that they are kept safe. One of the ways in which it does this is through its travel advisory warning system, which saw two of its strongest warnings issued this week.
Due to the Covid-19 situation and other pressing issues, both India and Papua New Guinea have been issued the Level 4 warning in the past few days, which is the highest warning level it can give to countries. Here’s everything you need to know about these advisories, plus a reminder of the status of other advisories.
India At Level 4 – Information For Travelers
India was handed a Level 4 travel advisory – a level which stands for “Do not travel” – on Wednesday, 5th March. The webpage explicitly tells travelers “Do not travel to India due to COVID-19,” and “Exercise increased caution due to crime and terrorism.”
Showing the level of seriousness that the US is taking the situation in the country, the webpage also explains that it has allowed the voluntary departure of family members of US government employees in the country, as well as non-emergency US government employees. It also warns US citizens in the country to take advantage of available commercial transportation options should they wish to depart.
The Covid-19 situation in India has escalated dramatically over the past few weeks in India. The 7-day daily average of Covid-19 cases in the country stands at just below 400,000, whilst the death rate is 3,679 per day. India now has the second-highest total number of cases, behind the US, whilst also having the third-highest number of deaths, behind the US and Brazil. The country has also reported a severe lack of beds for patients in hospitals, as well as a lack of supplies such as oxygen to keep them alive.
India’s travel advisory page also warns travelers not to travel to Jammu and Kashmir due to terrorism and civil unrest, and not to go within 10km of the Pakistan border due to the risk of armed conflict.
Papua New Guinea at Level 4 – Information for Travelers
Papua New Guinea saw its Level 4 travel advisory updated on Monday, 3rd May. According to the webpage, travelers should not visit Papua New Guinea at present due to Covid-19, crime, civil unrest, health concerns, natural disasters, and kidnapping.
The CDC has not issued a Travel Health Notice for Papua New Guinea due to the fact that the Covid-19 situation in the country is unknown. However, the travel advisory does state that there are some restrictions in place, such as third-country transit requirements that affect the entry and exit of US citizens.
The advisory also warns that “violent crime, including sexual assault, carjackings, home invasions, kidnappings, and armed robberies,” is common, highlighting the Highland regions and Bougainville as specific areas to avoid. It also states that police may be unable to assist with any issues due to their limited resources.
Status of Other Countries – Information for Travelers
Given the Covid-19 situation around the world, 121 countries have been given Level 4 status by the Department of State, including some of the most popular destinations for Americans and countries with good vaccination progress. No countries currently have Level 1 status (“Exercise normal precautions”), but 15 countries have Level 2 status (“Exercise increased caution”). These countries are:
- South Korea
- St. Kitts and Nevis
Belize is currently open for American travelers with no quarantine and no covid testing, and since it only holds a level 2 advisory, has been a very popular destination during the pandemic.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com