State Dept. Issues New Travel Advisory Threat Levels

Greece at lowest risk level, says US State Department
State Department makes changes to travel warning system

13 January, 2018

Placing India on Level 2, the State Department identified "crime and terrorism" for Americans to exercise increased caution. The Level 4 has been indicated for nations such as Afghanistan, recommending "do not travel".

The advisory further goes on adding U.S. employees are mandated to take special authorization from USA consulate general offices before traveling to states with Naxalite activity or the states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Manipur, reported India Today.

The State Department on Wednesday revamped its travel advisory warning system, installing a new ranking system aimed at making clear how safe or dangerous travel to a specific area may be.

"Violent crime, such as sexual assault, has occurred at tourist sites and in other locations", it said.

The State Department is trying to make it easier for USA travelers to understand and access security information about their travel destinations with the rollout of a new travel advisory program. Under that system, the department would issue either a "travel alert" or a "travel warning" when it deemed prudent, which generally included a briefing as to the reason.

Among other countries which are ranked at Level One like Malaysia include Brunei, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, Kazakhstan, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. The U.S. Department has placed Pakistan under level 3 category.

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The United States unveiled a travel advisory on Wednesday urging its citizens to reconsider their plans provided they were visiting Pakistan, citing multiple security-related issues. Azad and Jammu Kashmir (AJK) is also listed in this category "due to terrorism and the potential for armed conflict".

"Terrorists have targeted United States diplomats and diplomatic facilities in the past, and evidence suggests they continue to do so", the advisory explained.

Cuba, for instance, is listed as a level 3 country. "Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities", the State Department said in its new India travel advisory. "In the past, there have been large-scale terrorist attacks resulting in hundreds of casualties", highlighted the federal executive department.

The advisory further suggested that Americans desiring to visit India must not travel alone, particularly if they were women.

Levels Three and Four we review every six months just as we did Travel Warnings.

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