Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

State Department Revamps Travel Warnings

State Department Revamps Travel Warnings

For instance, we may advise USA citizens to "Exercise Increased Caution" (Level 2) in a country, but to "Reconsider Travel" (Level 3) to a particular area within the country.

Besides Malaysia, Canada and Australia, other countries in the same category include Brunei, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, Kazakhstan, and New Zealand.

Level two exercise increased caution and be aware of heightened risks to safety and security. "Do not travel to Balochistan province, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, (FATA) and the Azad Kashmir area due to terrorism and armed conflict", the State Department said.

None of levels prohibits travel.

The advisory said, "Indian authorities report rape is one of the fastest growing crimes in India".

The new ranking is likely to be a boost to country's tourism sector, which has in the past been affected by America's warning on its nationals against travel to Kenya.

"While we will issue an overall Travel Advisory level for every country, levels of advice may vary for specific locations or areas within a country", the US Department of State clarified.

Specifically, Level 1 is "Exercise Normal Precautions"; Level 2 "Exercise Increased Caution; Level 3 "Reconsider Travel"; and Level 4 "Do Not Travel".

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China, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Nepal, Bangladesh, United Kingdom, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico and Saudi Arabia are among the nations classified under Level Two of the advisory travel programme.

The advisory informs American citizens that the United States government has limited ability to provide emergency services to them in Pakistan due to the security environment.

Five Mexican states landed in Tier 4: Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas; the reason listed for all four was "crime", according to the an advisory from the State Department.

Mali and the Central African Republic are also given level-four ratings, along with Afghanistan, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen.

Countries ranked at Level Three include Cuba, Dominica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Lebanon, Sudan, Nigeria, Turkey, Pakistan, Russia and Venezuela. "Some areas have increased risk", the State Department advisory said.

What is the new system like?

Americans wishing to travel there "must apply for a one-time waiver and provide justification as to why they need to go", Ms Bernier-Toth said.

North Korea is also level four, with the additional restriction that USA law prohibits American travelers from using their passports there, effectively banning visits.

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