Monday, 15 October, 2018

Vietnam among countries with lowest travel security risks

The State Department has a new travel advisory system for ranking countries’ safety levels Under the new designations Turkey is considered a ‘Level 3’ country. Viacheslav Lopatin Shutterstock
Patty Aguilar | 13 January, 2018, 01:11

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

To warn travelers of potential dangers overseas, the US State Department has updated its travel advisory for countries, including India and Pakistan.

On the other hand, countries ranked at Level Two include China, India, Indonesia, Phillippines, Nepal, Bangladesh, United Kingdom, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico and Saudi Arabia.

Countries on Level 4 are Yemen, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Somalia, Mali, North Korea, South Sudan and Central African Republic.

"In the process of that review, we will look very carefully and we wanted to make sure that we were being consistent across the globe as to how we were assessing and ranking countries." she added.

The office also mentioned that the US government was unable to provide any consular services to USA citizens from the Consulate General in Peshawar.

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The State Department does, however, restrict the use of a U.S. passport for travel to North Korea. Canada and Australia are among the countries ranked level one.

Mexico, a level two country, has complained in the past that USA alerts hurt tourism, but the site gives a detailed breakdown of areas to avoid because of drug cartel violence.

The department changed the previous phrasing from the previous warnings and alerts, which some travelers found confusing, to a colored-number system of advisories with more explicit descriptions of what yielded the ranking. This stems from the recent update of how the US Department of State shares information with US travellers on January 10th.

Meanwhile, Russia and Turkey are at Level 3. Advisories are based on information from intelligence agencies, United States embassies and host countries' governments, she said.

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. "Personally, I was exhausted of explaining the difference between a travel warning and a travel alert, even to some of my colleagues". "These are simply based on our assessment of the security situation", senior consular official Michelle Bernier-Toth said.

"We have been heavily investing in security", Esponda said.

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