US unveils new travel warning ranking system

US unveils new travel warning ranking system

The U.S. State Department has launched its new travel advisory system that will provide U.S. citizens with clear, timely, and reliable safety and security information worldwide.

It stated that Level One, the lowest advisory level, informed United States travellers to "exercise normal precaution", Level Two is "exercise increased caution", Level Three is "reconsider travel", and Level Four is "do not travel".

Azerbaijan has been included in the list of countries where the United States citizens are recommended to exercise increased caution due to the increased risk of terrorism.

Besides Pakistan, ten war zones and failed states are ranked Level Four with "Do Not Travel" instruction including Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

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

It is also suggested that U.S. citizens "reconsider travel to Nairobi neighbourhood of Eastleigh at all times and Old Town in Mombasa at night due to crime". 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. Countries with a level 1 ranking (Canada, Sweden, Mongolia) are not color-coded.

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Pence's wife, Karen, is also expected to attend the Games, which begin February 9. "If I were them, I would try", he said . Any threat to the snow and ice spectacular could also endanger a huge USA delegation led by Vice President Mike Pence .

What were previously referred to as "warnings" and "alerts" are being re-classified as "advisories", accompanied by a color and number-based system with detailed descriptions on why an advisory has been issued. Turkey, Russia and Venezuela are considered level 3.

"This is the biggest overhaul that we've done in a very, very long time", after some tinkering with language a decade ago, she said.

Meanwhile, alerts, such as hurricane warnings, demonstration alerts and other considerations, will continue to be released from the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. The one exception is North Korea, where the State Department has prohibited citizens from using their US passports to visit without first obtaining a waiver.

For example, Mexico is rated Level 2 overall, with increased caution urged because of crime. Bernier-Toth said USA embassies were given the new rankings ahead of time so they could notify the governments of the impending change.

"We wanted it to be an easier to understand system", Risch said.


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