US issues travel advisory updates for 23 countries

US issues travel advisory updates for 23 countries

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The US State Department has issued several new travel advisory updates, with some of the world’s most popular travel destinations, such as Thailand, at the receiving end of Level 4. Don’t travel warnings. The updates, which were posted on the State Department’s website just yesterday, saw a series of countries release new updates covering a range of different warning levels, updates relatively safe level 1 updates to more serious level 4 updates.

Although they are an important part of a traveler’s research before going on a trip abroad, travel advisories do not actually prevent a traveler from heading to a specific destination. Here’s a rundown of what the warnings actually mean, an overview of which countries received updated warnings yesterday, and why travelers shouldn’t go ahead and postpone travel plans for now.

Travel Advisories Explained – What Travelers Need to Know

Travel advisories are color-coded and come with four distinct warning levels that represent threats to travelers to that country. These are:

  1. Level 1 advisories, which ask travelers to take normal precautions in this destination
  2. Level 2 advisories, which ask travelers to be extra careful in this country
  3. Level 3 advisories, which ask travelers to reconsider the trip
  4. Level 4 warnings, which explicitly warn travelers don’t travel to a specific country

Determining a country’s travel warning level takes into account a range of different criteria. Among the issues assessed by the State Department are issues such as crime, terrorism, civil unrest, health issues, and natural disasters. As you might expect, Covid-19 has played a key role in the level of travel advisories a country receives, but that’s just one of many issues American travelers need to worry about when they are abroad.

Travel Advisory Update – What Travelers Need to Know

A total of 23 countries received travel advice updates yesterday, covering all four levels of travel advisories. They are the following:

Tier 4 – Thailand, New Zealand, Ethiopia

Level 3 – United Arab Emirates, Uganda, Philippines, Niger, Mauritania, Fiji, Ivory Coast, Anguilla

Level 2 – Gambia, Senegal, Republic of Congo, Namibia, Mozambique, Kenya, Equatorial Guinea, Djibouti, Angola

Level 1 – Togo, Rwanda, Lesotho

Thailand and New Zealand receiving Level 4 travel advisories are sure to affect thousands of travellers, especially as both countries have recently made it easier for travelers to visit. The Philippines has also recently eased its entry requirements and may also face a drop in the expected number of travelers due to its level 3 travel warning.

While the pages for Thailand and New Zealand cite the only risk travelers face as Covid-19, the page for Tier 4 country Ethiopia warns of the risk of “armed conflict, civil unrest, communications disruptions, crime and the potential for terrorism and kidnapping in border areas”, highlighting the range of issues addressed by travel advisories. Covid-19 remains a factor in most countries’ alert level updated yesterday, but travelers should visit the page for any destination they plan to visit in order to learn about the risks in that country.

Regardless of a country’s advisory level, these updates are advisory in nature and cannot legally prevent a traveler from heading to an international destination. Provided a traveler has done their homework, followed CDC advice, and purchased a solid travel insurance policy just in case, traveling to Tier 4 countries such as Thailand can be perfectly safe.

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Disclaimer: Current Travel Rules and Restrictions may change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm entry of your nationality and/or any changes to travel conditions before travelling. Travel Off Path does not approve travel against government advice