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13 January 2018, 01:56 | Melissa Porter
State Department makes changes to travel warning system
The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory.
The U.S. State Department updated its warning system and how it conveys information about the risks of traveling to other countries, in a bid to make these warnings easier to understand.
The new system ranks countries from one to four on a sliding scale of increasing danger, with No. 1 suggesting normal precautions while traveling, and No. 2 suggesting increased precaution.
This is the lowest advisory level for safety and security risk.
This category includes countries like Iran, North Korea, Iraq and Syria. Level three countries include Russian Federation, due to civil unrest in certain areas, and Venezuela, due to crime and a limited ability of the U.S. to provide assistance to citizens.
Placing India on Level 2, the State Department identified "crime and terrorism" for Americans to exercise increased caution.
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. "The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory" says the Department of State". The states mentioned include "eastern Maharashtra and northern Telangana through western West Bengal" as well as " rural parts of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand and. the borders of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, and Odisha".
"Will issue an overall travel advisory level for every country, levels of advice may vary for specific locations or areas within a country" the state department said. The new rankings, found on travel.state.gov, are applied to every country, even Antarctica.
There will still be travel alerts in case of demonstrations, hurricanes or terrorist incidents, for example. These advisory levels are simply a tool for you to use, and could impact world travel in some pretty meaningful ways.
In a message on its website, the State Department has advised its citizens to avoid travel to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, FATA and Kashmir due to terror threats.
The State Department does, however, restrict the use of a U.S. passport for travel to North Korea.
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