Exercise increased caution while traveling to India: US issues new advisory

The State Department debuted a new system for warning travelers about potential danger abroad

The State Department Wednesday launched improvements on sharing information with USA travellers to provide clear, timely and reliable safety and security information.

Under the new system, every country has a travel advisory and is placed in one of these four categories.

"So we've done away with travel warnings and alerts, we've done away with emergency and security messages because, again, that was something people didn't always understand the difference [between], and we have gone to a travel advisory [system] for every country-including Antarctica".

The UK, France and China were included in Level 2 - Be aware of heightened risks to safety and security. Level 1 advises travellers to exercise normal precaution, while Level 4, which has countries like Afghanistan, recommends "Do Not Travel".

In September, the agency stated in a travel warning that, "numerous U.S. Embassy Havana employees have been targeted in specific attacks", suffering "significant injuries as a effect of these attacks".

The Consular Section at the US Embassy Athens tweeted Wednesday "the rating should have American tourists packing their bags to come".


The office also mentioned that the US government was unable to provide any consular services to USA citizens from the Consulate General in Peshawar. But five of the country's states - Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas - carry "do not travel" warnings because of violent crime and gang activity, with killings, kidnapping and trafficking in drugs and humans.

The Democratic Republic of Congo was ranked at Tier 2, despite what the State Department has flagged as "ongoing instability and sporadic violence in many parts of the country". "We have a small footprint there, and our ability to help people in an emergency there is very limited, so that is also a factor".

On January 10, the Department of State launched improvements to how it shares information with USA travelers.

"Sometimes our various documents were not readily understood", Bernier-Toth said.

The new rankings replace the vague and often confusing system of issuing "travel alerts" for short-term dangers posed by events such as epidemics or mass protests, and "travel warnings" for long-standing concerns such as armed conflict or political instability. It urges travelers to stay away from the states of Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas (all level 4).

"We have been heavily investing in security", Esponda said.

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