These European countries have a “Level 2” travel advisory from the US State Department: what does this mean for travellers?

Between pandemic outbreaks and unrest in much of the world, global travel is inherently accompanied by more anxiety than ever before. On top of that, earlier in October, officials released an update U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory for a slew of countries, ranging from Belize and Italy to South Africa and the UK, placing them at Tier 2, warning visitors to “use increased caution”.

Although the new batch of warnings have caught the attention of travelers, the reason they were issued is more complex than it seems. Most of the updated bulletins were dated Oct. 4 or 5, days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) removed COVID-19 travel health notices from its site, a carrier said. word of the State Department. This change triggered the new advisories, but also drew attention to the warnings that existed in each country.

Whenever there is a change to the information listed, the travel advisory for each country will clearly state the reason for the update at the top. As with countries like Belize, Italy, Franceand South Africathe first line of the notices read: “Last updated: reissued with health information updates” – noting that the CDC change was the cause of the new notice, as COVID-19 had been a factor major in these reviews for the better part of the past two years.

For many nations, this was the only reason for the update. But the State Department is constantly reviewing the information. Any country with a travel advisory at level 1 (“Take normal precautions”) or level 2 (“Enhanced caution”) is reassessed at least every 12 months, while any country at level 3 (“Reconsider travel” ) or level 4 (“Do not travel”) are reviewed at least every six months.

Going forward, State Department travel advisories will no longer include CDC travel health advisories, and the CDC will only issue an advisory for a country if a concerning variant of COVID-19 is identified and changes the recommendations to get there.

Large scale security warnings

Along with health warnings off these pages, terrorism and civil unrest advisories now appear at the top of most country pages. The State Department says that if the latest update was related to any of these reasons, it would be clearly labeled from the start. Still, the recent update revealed how many countries are currently at high levels of caution.

“Level 2 travel warnings are not normal for these countries on this scale,” Jukka Laitamaki of NYU School of Professional Studies‘ Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality said. “Currently in Europe only the Scandinavian countries and Finland have the lowest Level 1 rating.”

The State Department doesn’t specify what threats are behind the warnings, so that means travelers should be aware of the situation in each country. “Be careful of [the advisories] and use them as an important part of your travel planning,” he says. “Complement them with local news from the destinations you plan to travel to and consider your own level of risk tolerance.”

It is possible that recent one-off incidents such as the A defaced Monet painting in Germany or the craze to come around the World Cup in November can be causes, awakening adventure says travel consultant Lori Avirett-Mackenzie. “So the State Department raising the levels makes sense in a broad and general way,” she says.