The US Department of State has handed out a further 14 new travel advisory updates. The new updates, which were published yesterday on the State Department’s website, provide travelers with accurate and up to date information about the risks they might encounter when traveling to a specific location. Whilst many of the most recent updates were caused due to high levels of Covid-19 within a country, other factors may also be taken into consideration.
Issued as part of the State Departments’ attempts to keep travelers safe and informed throughout the pandemic and the uncertain times facing the world, the latest updates are the ninth individual round of updates to be published this month alone. Here’s a closer look at what the travel advisory system is, what the updates mean for travelers and which countries saw their travel advisories updates yesterday.
U.S. Travel Advisories – What Are They?
The State Department’s travel advisory warning system was designed to be a simple way to keep travelers aware of the risks faced when traveling abroad. Formerly known as Travel Warnings and Travel Alert, it has undergone several facelifts throughout the years, with the current iteration employing a color-coded and number-based system to make it even easier for travelers to understand.
Travel advisories warning levels themselves are updated as needed, based on the current security and safety information available. The different warning levels and colors 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
Latest Updates – What Travelers Should Know
At the start of the pandemic, the majority of travel advisory updates saw Level 4 warning issued to countries as the world struggled to get to grips with the spread of Covid-19. Thankfully, as time has gone on, more and more Level 2 warnings are being handed out to countries, reflecting the improvement of the Covid-19 situation around the world. Of yesterday’s 14 updates, nine of them were Level 1 and 2 whilst no Level 4 updates were awarded, which suggests the situation is improving.
The travel advisory updates are as follows:
Level 3: Albania, Bolivia, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo and Guinea-Bissau
Level 2: Gabon, Guinea, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, The Gambia, Zambia
Level 1: Cabo Verde, Comoros
Being Level 1 countries, the travel advisory pages of Cabo Verde and Comoros do not show any health and safety concerns for travelers. Of those countries that have been awarded Level 2 and Level 3 advisories, Covid-19 was cited as an issue on every country’s page, other than Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, travelers should be aware that other risks were also cited on the updates, ranging from crime and health issues to more serious threats such as terrorism and kidnapping.
Before taking any international vacations, travelers should do their research on the destination they are visiting, and travel advisories are a vital source of information. Whilst they don’t legally prevent a traveler from taking a trip – meaning travelers are free to visit a Level 4 country if they wish – they can help a person make an informed choice about whether or not it is safe to travel. Regardless of the destination and its warning level, travelers should make sure they have a solid travel insurance policy to keep them protected when abroad.
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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