The Omicron variant that is causing a record number of COVID-19 cases around the world…
This week, the U.S. State Department started off 2022 by issuing several new travel advisories.
This, unfortunately, lends itself to the feeling that the new year will carry on in much the same way as the old, thanks to the way Omicron’s already sweeping the globe and the knowledge that potential future COVID-19 variants of concern will likely continue complicating the world’s recovery process.
Despite the fact that 16 countries were issued elevated travel advisories this week, the news does not necessarily all come as cause for lament.
Only three of those—Aruba, Singapore and Equatorial Guinea—were slapped with the State Department’s most severe warning for travelers, ‘Level 4: Do Not Travel’. Nine others were handed a ‘Level 3: Reconsider Travel’, while a further four were given ‘Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution’ statuses.
The destinations that were given a ‘Level 3: Reconsider Travel’ label on Tuesday are: Azerbaijan, The Bahamas, Kenya, Moldova, Niger, Nigeria, Romania, Sint Maarten and Suriname. While the likelihood of contracting COVID-19 in these countries is the primary reason their risk levels have been bumped up, there are other considerations that factor in, as Travel Off Path first observed.
The Bahamas’ advisory, for example, includes warnings about levels of criminal activity in the region, what types of crime are being committed and the areas where they are typically concentrated. Meanwhile, within the details of travel advisories for Kenya, Niger and Nigeria are additional warnings about the potential for violent crime, civil unrest, terrorism and kidnapping in the region.
The countries issued ‘Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution’ this week were Costa Rica, the Philippines, Madagascar and Zambia. The moderate risk level assigned to these destinations indicates that they’re relatively safe for American travelers to visit within the context of the current global circumstances.
The lowest-level caution of ‘Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions’ is the only one of the four-tier advisory system’s designations that effectively gives Americans the green light to travel to a given destination; indicating that it’s among the places on the globe that are considered least risky for U.S. travelers to visit, whether that’s due to pandemic-related concerns or other known safety issues in the region.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also maintains its own list of travel advisories, which uses a similar four-tier system that’s specifically based upon COVID-19 risk levels in each destination.
For the latest insight on travel around the world, check out this interactive guide:
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