US State Department Raises Worldwide Travel Advisory

The U.S. State Department issued a Level 3 global health advisory on Wednesday, recommending that Americans reconsider travel abroad due to the global impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).

“The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to reconsider travel abroad due to the global impact of COVID-19. Many areas throughout the world are now experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and taking action that may limit traveler mobility, including quarantines and border restrictions,” the department advised. “Even countries, jurisdictions, or areas where cases have not been reported may restrict travel without notice.”

The elevated advisory followed President Trump’s announcement late Wednesday that there will be a 30-day suspension of travel from the 26 European countries within the Schengen border-free travel area in an effort to “protect the health and well-being of all Americans to keep new cases from entering our shores.”

It’s important to note that the new restrictions only apply to foreign nationals and not U.S. citizens. What’s more, the travel suspension doesn’t apply to the United Kingdom.

The State Department’s latest advisory isn’t a ban on international travel either nor is it notice to avoid travel abroad. A majority of the world’s countries are safe to visit based on the department’s individual country advisories as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website.

The CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential travel to destinations with Level 3 travel notices such as China, Iran, Italy and South Korea and those older adults and those with chronic medical conditions talk to a healthcare provider and consider postponing travel to destinations with Level 2 travel notices given the risk of COVID-19.

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