We all dream of travelling around the world and it is much exciting, fun, adventurous and provides great opportunities. Right?
When travelling abroad, there are many things to consider- health and safety bags the highest priority among them. On 10th Jan, 2018, U.S. Department of State launched a new travel advisory program for American citizens who wants to travel abroad. This advisory is more straight and precious, and provide important information to American citizens about what’s going on in each country around the world that could potentially affect travelers.
U.S. embasies and authorities will now avoid providing Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts which was difficult to understand by people and replaced the current emergency messages and security messages by notifying U.S. citizens of specific local safety and security concerns, including political demonstrations, crime patterns, general elections and significant weather events.
As per the new travel advisory, each country is ranked to different levels according to their risk assessment done by the State Department.
Here’s the four-level ranking system!
Each Country is categorized under four levels. In Level-1 Countries, travellers should follow some normal precautions while, countries in Level-4 are marked as ‘Do not Travel’.
The complete information regarding the levels are given below:
1. Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions
The countries falling into Level-1 category are considered safe and there are no major security or safety concerns. Americans can travel to Level-1 countries safely and would experience overall security and safety. However, regular safety precautions are recommended.
2. Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution
The countries falling into Level-2 category are comparatively safe but, some security and safety concerns at certain locations should be kept in mind during travelling. It is recommended to Americans travelling to Level-2 countries that they must perform some major security and safety caution at all time and stay connected to the changing alerts of the location.
3. Level 3: Reconsider Travel
Travelers aspiring to visit Level-3 countries should reconsider their traveling plans as stated by US State Department. Destinations with this advisory level can put you and your travelling companions at risk.
4. Level 4: Do not travel
Countries marked under Level-4 is considered highly risky & not recommended as a safe destination by US State Department due to higher risks of life. If there is an emergency in these locations, US government will be having very limited ability to provide safety to their citizens. The Department of State advices Americans not to travel in these locations.
For all countries that receives ranking of level two or higher are also assigned letters that describes the type of risk associated with them.
C – Crime: Violence and organized crime are frequent in these locations. Local government and their laws have got low impact on the ongoing crime rate.
T – Terrorism: Terrorist attacks might have occurred in these countries due to the reasons that include religions, armed conflicts and, more. There are strong possibilities for uneventful incidents to occur in future in these countries.
U – Civil Unrest: Political, economical, religious or any other emergency exist which may lead to high violence, strikes, major safety disruptions or risks.
H -Health: Health risks include recent outbreak of epidemic disease, which may lead to serious health problems. It also include some financial or other crisis which may lead to dysfunctioning of country’s medical infrastructure.
N -Natural Disaster: A natural disaster may include earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunami and its aftermath effects.
E -Time Limited Event: This includes events such as elections, sports or any other event that may affect safety risks.
O -Other: There are other risks which are not covered in the above risk indicators. For more information you can visit to State’s Travel Advisory.
Source: U.S. Department of State.
Introduction of Color Coded Map
A new feature has been introduced in the travel advisory is colour coded map that help travellers to look around countries and the risk factors associated with them.
With the advent of Color coded map, it has become easier for U.S citizens to consider their travel options and weigh their travel & health safety factors before deciding the destination. Eleven countries that have been marked as Level-4 are highlighted red in the above given map.
Every six month the US Department of State will review the countries categorised in Level-3 & Level-4.
Here’s the list of countries given below that scores Level-4 (Do not Travel) category by the US State Dept. Advisory.
• Central African Republic
• North Korea
• South Sudan
All travel related information is stored in new hub designed for travel advisory i.e. travel.state.gov. People will also be able to find the colour coded map in mobile-friendly formats. Country pages on the site will include all travel related information that includ details about entry/exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, transportation, and other relevant topics.
So, if you’re planning your next trip, make sure you check for right information in the mentioned website and reinforce your safety factors.
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