US State Department updates 98 travel advisories, still noting terrorism risk in France, UK, Italy and Spain

Jhe US State Department has released a mountain of revised travel advisories on Tuesday, mirroring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) decision on Monday to end country-by-country Covid-19 travel health advisories.

“As a result, the State Department is no longer including the CDC Covid-19 [travel health notice] information in our travel advisories,” a State Department spokesperson said, adding that the health advisory changes did not impact travel advisory levels.

A total of 98 updated travel advisories were issued, including six “Level 4: Do Not Travel” advisories, with updated health information for Russia, Ukraine, Central African Republic, Mali, Burkina Faso and Belarus. Countries with a Tier 4 designation have a “greater likelihood of life-threatening risks”.

The government also updated 11 “Level 3” travel advisories for countries where Americans should “reconsider travel” due to “safety and security risks.” Of these, five countries are in Africa and three in Central and South America. Cayman Islands is still in Tier 3 due to Covid restrictions.

At “level 2”, 32 travel advisories advise travelers to “exercise caution”. Of these countries, nine European destinations – including France, Italy, Spain and the UK – driving tourism – continue to issue travel warnings citing ‘terrorism’, ‘terrorism and civil unrest’ or, in the case of Turkey, “terrorism and arbitrariness”. detentions.

These nine travel advisories begin the same way: “Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs , restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sports centers and cultural events, educational institutions, airports and other public places.

Continuing risk of terrorism

In early August, the United States released a rare global caution, the first in nearly four years to provide American travelers with general information about terrorist activity, political violence and criminal activity occurring abroad. The current advisory highlights the “continuing threat of terrorist attacks, protests, and other violent actions against American citizens and interests abroad. The State Department believes there is a higher potential for anti-American violence given the death of Ayman al-Zawahiri on July 31, 2022.”

For travelers, it’s always worth reading the State Department’s advice before a trip. For example, the U.S. travel advisory for France currently notes that “protests in Paris and other major cities continue in France and are expected to continue in the coming weeks,” and notes that “the U.S. Embassy United States advises official U.S. government travelers to avoid weekend travel to Paris and other major cities in France.

Are you going to Spain? The State Department advises U.S. travelers to avoid protests, which are common and “may occur in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events.”

The U.S. travel advisory for Turkey (formerly Turkey) has a much more ominous tone: “Security forces have detained tens of thousands of people, including U.S. citizens, for alleged affiliations with terrorist organizations on the rare or secret evidence and motives that appear to be politically motivated. U.S. citizens have also been subject to travel bans that prevent them from leaving Turkey. Participation in protests not explicitly approved by the Turkish government, as well as criticism of the government (including on social media) can lead to arrest.

It should also be noted that, since October 1, Canada has updated 42 travel advisories. Canadian travelers to Western Europe are advised to “exercise a high degree of caution” due to the terrorist threat in France, the United Kingdom, Turkey and Belgium.

The Department of State encourages American citizens to stay connected via travel.state.gov and via @travelgov social media accounts, and enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive timely alerts.

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