If you like to travel to adventurous, off-the-beaten path foreign locales, you might want to learn about the U.S. State Department’s new travel advisory system.
The new system includes color-coded tiers ranging from “Exercise normal precautions” at the lowest level 1, up to “Exercise increased caution” at level 2, “Reconsider travel” at level 3 and “Do not travel” at the highest level 4 coded red. The advice may vary for different areas within a country.
The reasons for assigning levels 2-4 include factor such as crime, terrorism, civil unrest, health, natural disaster or specific events like elections, sporting events or other incidents, according to the State Department.
The old system included travel warnings and travel alerts, which officials acknowledged could be confusing.
The State Department advises travelers on its website: “As a first step in planning any trip abroad, check the Travel Advisories for your intended destination.”
At Level 4 with the “Do not travel” recommendation are North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan and Central African Republic. For those countries, the State Department “advises that U.S. citizens not travel to the country or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so.”
In addition to the advisories, U.S. embassies and consulates will issue travel alerts to let U.S. citizens know of “specific safety and security concerns in a country, such as demonstrations, crime trends, and weather events.” The alerts will replace the old system of emergency messages and security messages.
To get updates, U.S. citizens can enroll their travel plans in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program at step.state.gov.
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