US State Department Issues Alert for European Travel This Summer
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Update 5/23/17: Following last night’s tragic attack in Manchester, the UK has raised its threat level to critical, indicating that another attack could be imminent. We don’t have any details yet regarding implications for travel to/from/within the UK, but expect longer security lines and stricter enforcement at airports and public spaces, such as arenas and other enclosed venues.
Given recent events in the region, the US Department of State is warning American tourists to use caution when traveling to Europe this summer. Yesterday, the State Department issued a travel alert for US citizens due to the ongoing threat of terrorist attacks in Europe. It is set to expire on September 1, 2017.
The alert details that recent, widely reported incidents in France, Russia, Sweden and the UK, have led the Department to believe that ISIS, al-Qa’ida and other terrorist groups have the ability to carry out attacks without warning. The State Department acknowledged that while the local governments are doing their part when it comes to counterterrorism efforts, it’s doing its part to warn US citizens about the potential dangers.
The warning went on to detail where terrorist groups are likely to target. It reads:
“Extremists continue to focus on tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities as viable targets. In addition, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, high-profile events, educational institutions, airports, and other soft targets remain priority locations for possible attacks.”
The Department advised US tourists in Europe to take extra precaution and remain vigilant when in areas like those described above or with large crowds. The last terror alert issued for European travel was on November 21, 2016, and it expired on February 20, 2017.
If you’re traveling to Europe during the warning, be sure to follow these tips for what to do before you head on your trip or if something happens while you’re abroad. As the State Department recommends, enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), stay in touch with your family members back home and have an emergency plan of action ready. There are plenty of resources available for Americans to follow when visiting Europe — especially while this alert is in place.
Featured image courtesy of David Crespo via Getty Images.
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