On Tuesday, October 4th, The US State Department updated 98 travel advisories for travel outside of the United States. There were many reasons that these were updated including possible terrorist activity, political unrest, and even one for continued cases of COVID-19.
It is worth noting that these advisories are subject to change at any time, and research into destinations gives a higher chance to circumvent any complications mentioned in the advisories.
Some of these changes include:
Level 4, Do Not Travel
- Ukraine, for continued violence in skirmishes against Russian troops
- Russia, for possible retaliation against US citizens
- Belarus, for build up of Russian troops along border and nearby Ukraine conflict
- Central African Republic, Mali, and Burkina Faso
Leve 3, Reconsider Travel
- Cayman Islands, for COVID-19 related restrictions
- 5 more countries in Africa, and 3 in Central and South America
Level 2, Exercise Increased Caution
- United Kingdom, for possible acts of terrorism
- Spain, for possible acts of terrorism and civil unrest
- France, for possible acts of terrorism and civil unrest
- Italy, for possible acts of terrorism
- Turkey, for possible acts of terrorism and arbitrary detentions
This also comes with the news that the State Department will no longer be including CDC COVID-19 information in travel advisories.
For the full list of travel advisories, please visit the US State Department.
The U.S. State Department has urged Americans to reconsider travel to Hong Kong and mainland China due to “arbitrary enforcement of local laws and Covid-19-related restrictions” and “ including the risk of parents and children being separated.”
China is in the midst of a Covid-19 surge currently. A Reuters report indicates “the number of new asymptomatic cases, which China counts separately, stood at 23,815 compared with 22,648 a day earlier.” According to the travel advisory on April 08, 2022, the Department allowed for the voluntary departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees, and family members of emergency and non-emergency U.S. government employees, from the Consulate General Shanghai consular district due to a surge in COVID cases and the impact of restrictions related to the PRC’s response.
China has adopted a “Zero-Tolerance” approach to Covid-19 with severe lockdown and isolation requirements impacting the ability to travel and access to public services. In addition, travelers to the PRC and Hong Kong may be subject to mandatory testing.
The Travel Advisory indicated U.S. citizens may b subject to wrongful detentions, arbitrary interrogations, and “exit bans” forbidding leaving the country.
For the first time in two years since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has lifted its risk advisory for cruises, indicating that while their suspension of the advisory does not mean there is no risk of Covid-19 infection onboard, cruise travel will no longer carry a CDC risk warning.w
CLIA issued a statement applauding the CDC’s removal of the risk warning and reiterated the stance that the move recognizes the effective public health measures in place on cruise ships helps to level the playing field, between cruise and similarly situated venues on land, for the first time since March 2020.
The cruise industry, caught up in a series of unfortunate infection outbreaks at the beginning of the pandemic, often expressed frustration at the unfavorable attention cruising received from the CDC as compared with land-based resorts and accommodations. In reality, the major cruise lines instituted some of the travel industry’s most stringent precautions during Covid-19, requiring masks and vaccinations on the majority of cruises. CLIA’s statement went on to indicate its cruise line members “are sailing today with health measures in place that are unmatched by virtually any other commercial setting.”
The CDC is still advising those cruising to be up to date on their Covid-19 vaccinations and to consult with their doctors about any precautions if immunocompromised or at high risk.
I was surprised to see a Reuters article that said, “U.S. CDC urges Americans to avoid travel to Japan, Cuba, Armenia over COVID cases.” Why Cuba? I wondered. Why Japan, too, for that matter? As for Cuba, it ran counter to the information that I’ve been getting about the country’s handling of COVID over the last year and a half, which has been impressively successful. But Cuba tends to be a good whipping boy for the news media. In the travel media, reports on Cuba are almost always glowing. But in the news media, portrayals tend to be negative.
The American people are attracted to Cuba and fascinated with it. They jump en masse at the opportunity to travel there whenever the word gets out that the restrictions have been relaxed. But there is still an establishment that tries to punish Cuba at every opportunity. It must be the oldest political grudge in the world. Read the rest of this entry »