The U.S. State Department has just issued a further 16 more new travel advisory updates. Posted on the Department of State’s travel advisory website just yesterday, the new travel advisories are the latest of several updates already this month, as the State Department and embassies around the world work around the clock to ensure that American travelers are kept in the loop and can make informed decisions regarding their travel plans.
Featuring a wide range of countries spanning several continents, yesterday’s travel advisories prove that even after the pandemic, there are still plenty of other things that travelers need to be wary of when traveling abroad. Here’s a look at which countries were affected by yesterday’s latest round of travel advisory updates, plus a reminder of what travel advisories are and the role they should play in any traveler’s trips abroad.
Travel Advisory Updates – Information For Travelers
Travel advisory updates are the State Departments way of keeping travelers up to date with issues they may encounter on their trips abroad. Every country in the world has a travel advisory page, regardless of its popularity, which contains concise, up to date information about security threats and concerns not just in the country as a whole, but often in specific regions where appropriate. A wide range of different issues are covered, ranging from everyday issues such as high crime rates to more pressing matters such as civil unrest and terrorism. Following the pandemic, travel advisories also contain an update from the CDC on the level of Covid-19 in each destination.
Travel advisories come in four different levels, each one indicating the severity of the risk travelers will face in that country. Level 1 travel advisories – the least severe warning – advises travelers to “exercise normal precautions,” whilst Level 4 – the most severe warning level – tells travelers “do not travel” to that destination. Despite the strict wording on the different levels, travel advisories do not have the power to prevent a traveler from heading to a certain destination, though they do provide travelers with the information required to make the decision of whether or not to travel in the first place.
Latest Travel Advisories – What Travelers Should Know
Yesterday’s travel advisory updates saw a further 7 countries issued with Level 1 travel advisories, bringing the total number of Level 1 countries up to 81. Those 7 countries and their CDC-determined Covid-19 levels are:
Angola (low Covid-19 level), Comoros (low Covid-19 level), Dominica (unknown Covid-19 level), Equatorial Guinea (low Covid-19 level), Fiji (high Covid-19 level), Poland (high Covid-19 level) and Togo (moderate Covid-19 level).
There were also five additions to the Level 2 category, which advises travelers to exercise increased caution. They are as follows:
- Bangladesh: exercise increased caution in Bangladesh due to crime, terrorism, and kidnapping. Low level of Covid-19.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina: exercise increased caution in Bosnia and Herzegovina due to terrorism and land mines. High level of Covid-19.
- India: exercise increased caution in India due to crime and terrorism. Moderate level of Covid-19.
- Laos: exercise increased caution to Laos due to civil unrest. Unknown level of Covid-19
- Philippines: exercise increased caution to the Philippines due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping. Moderate level of Covid-19.
Four countries were awarded Level 3 travel advisories, which asks travelers to reconsider travel. El Salvador, which has a moderate level of Covid-19, was deemed to be Level 3 due to its high levels of crime. That was also the case for Honduras, which also has a high level of Covid-19 according to the CDC. Travelers are also asked to reconsider travel to moderate Covid-19-level Ethiopia due to armed conflict, civil unrest, communications disruptions, crime, and the potential for terrorism and kidnapping in border areas. Those with travel plans involving Moldova (moderate level of Covid-19) are also asked to reconsider them, due to the country’s close proximity to the conflict in Ukraine.
The latest round of travel advisory updates saw no countries awarded the most severe Level 4 update – but that doesn’t mean that things can’t change quickly. In addition to making sure they read the travel advisory page for their destinations this summer, travelers should also ensure they purchase a good travel insurance policy to ensure they are covered in the event that something does go wrong.
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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