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The State Department has announced a major change to how it issues travel advisories.
This is the first major change to the advisory system in more than a decade.
Change - Response - Confusion - System
The change comes in response to ongoing confusion over the old system.
The US Department of State today announced a new system for issuing travel advisories to Americans. Under the new system, every country in the world will have a standing advisory with a numerical level, ranging from 1 to 4, to indicate whether there are any safety concerns. If a country is ranked at a level two — "exercise increased caution" — or above, the score will be accompanied by a reason for the increased risk.
Change - Response - Confusion - Meaning - Warnings
The change comes in response to persistent general confusion over the meaning of warnings issued under the previous system, according to a State Department spokesperson. Under that system, the department would issue either a "travel alert" or a "travel warning" when it deemed prudent, which generally included a briefing as to the reason.
But, the difference between the two types of advisory was not always clear. While alerts were generally shorter-term or related to specific events, and warnings were intended to be stronger, the new system is designed to provide additional clarity and guidance.
Levels - Fact - Sheet - State - Department
The levels are as follows, as described in a fact sheet shared by the State Department:
Level 1 - Exercise Normal Precautions: This is the lowest advisory level for safety and security risk. There is some risk in any international travel. Conditions in other countries may differ from those in the United States and may change at any time.
Level - Exercise - Caution - Be
Level 2 - Exercise Increased Caution: Be...
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