New Travel Warning System from U.S. State Department

Dec 18, 2017
At Travelzoo, we love inspiring our members to explore new and unique places. Nonetheless, it’s always important to keep a finger on the pulse of travel safety while trotting the globe. Messages from the U.S. State Department aren’t always easy to interpret – leading travelers to wonder, “Is this just a warning, or am I in immediate danger?” Luckily, wanderers of the world will no longer have to ask this question, as an updated communication system will be rolling out in January.

In the past, “travel alerts” were issued to warn U.S. tourists about short-lived risks and “travel warnings” were implemented for countries undergoing more long-term unrest. The public had trouble differentiating between the two messages, leaving travelers unsure of how to respond to each appropriately. To replace this antiquated and confusing method of communication, the U.S. State Department is implementing a new four-level classification system:

Level 1: Travelers are advised to “exercise normal precautions.”

Level 2: Travelers should “exercise increased caution.”

Level 3: Travelers should “reconsider travel.”

Level 4: Travelers are issued a “do not travel” warning.

Every country will be designated one of these four levels at all times, thereby clarifying the U.S. State Department’s position when it comes to traveling in a certain country at a specific period of time. With this new and improved communication system, travelers can continue to discover extraordinary places with the confidence that they are doing so safely.

If you would like more information on how this system will work, you can read the official briefing from Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Carl Risch.

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