State Department makes changes to travel warning system

13 January, 2018, 01:55 | Author: Jeffery Armstrong
  • The State Department has a new travel advisory system for ranking countries’ safety levels

The U.S. State Department issued a travel advisory on January 10 putting India at Level 2 i.e. exercise increased caution.

Women have been discouraged from traveling alone as rape is "one of the fastest growing crimes in India".

Cuba, for instance, where the State Department has previously advised against travel, was listed as a Tier 3, rather than Tier 4, country.

Travel Advisories apply up to four standard levels of advice, give a description of the risks, and provide clear actionable steps US citizens should take, according to a statement issued by the US Embassy in Athens.

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U.S. citizens should, however, "reconsider travel to the Rwanda-Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) border due to armed conflict", the advisory states.

"Travel to all areas of Afghanistan is unsafe because of high levels of kidnappings, hostage taking, suicide bombings, widespread military combat operations, landmines, terrorist and insurgent attacks, including attacks using vehicle-borne or other improvised explosive devices (IEDs)", says the advisory for Afghanistan.

The US State Department on Wednesday launched a new Travel Advisory Program which ranks Greece at the lowest advisory level for safety and security risk. Now every country has a travel advisory based on this system, which has replaced all the previous such advisories.

The State Department has announced a major change to how it issues travel advisories. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory.

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Neighbouring countries ranked at level one include Macau, Singapore, Japan and South Korea. It also included AJK, potential for armed conflict between Pakistan and India.

The travel advisory for Mexico also warned US tourists to "exercise increased caution" - the second-lowest rating - in the country when visiting. Many countries in Western Europe, where there have been terrorist attacks in recent years, are listed as level 2.

Regarding the ranking of Pakistan on Level 3, asking Americans to reconsider travelling to the nation, the State Department cited the presence of terrorism, specifically advising against travel to Balochistan province, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province, and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The new rankings, found on travel.state.gov, are applied to every country, even Antarctica. "In the past, there have been large-scale terrorist attacks resulting in hundreds of casualties", it said.

Cuba, which a year ago came with the travel advisory to not travel there, is now listed as level 3.

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