Avoid Wuhan, China, to minimize virus exposure: These are the U.S. travel advisories for January 2020
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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.
More travelers than ever are favoring international trips. And as Americans plan our international travel for 2020, it’s important to revisit the travel advisories that have been issued by the U.S. Department of State, especially as these advisories are constantly being updated.
Wuhan, Hubei, China
On Thursday, Jan. 23, the U.S. State Department issued a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory for Hubei Province in north-central China due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has separately issued a Warning Level 3 Alert (Avoid Nonessential Travel) due to the infectious nature of the disease.
The other provinces in China remain at a Level 2 advisory. Dual U.S.-Chinese citizens should be aware of an ongoing issue with “exit bans,” where the Chinese government may harass, threaten or detain dual-passport travelers, sometimes for years, without access to U.S. consular services. “U.S. citizens only become aware of the exit ban when they attempt to depart China, and there is no method to find out how long the ban may continue.” Travelers are advised to only enter the country on U.S. passports bearing valid Chinese visas, and to check the State Department page for additional guidance.
Americans should continue to remain vigilant after the U.S. assassination of prominent Iranian General Qassim Suleimani on Jan. 2. Iran has promised retaliation, and some analysts are warning Americans to be especially cautious while traveling overseas. The U.S. State Department has urged all Americans to leave Iraq.
U.S. citizens remain at increased risk for kidnapping and terrorism. As of Dec. 31, 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Iraq has suspended public consular services until further notice, due to damage done by Iranian-backed terrorist attacks on the embassy compound. The U.S. Consulate General Erbil remains open and continues to provide consular services. As noted above, the United States is warning all Americans to leave Iraq immediately.
Australia regions affected by bushfires are under Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution. The rest of the country is under Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions advisory.
Bolivia dropped to Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution from Level 4: Do Not Travel.
Costa Rica moved to Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution from Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions.
Timor-Leste moved to Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution from Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions.
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In order to help you keep up, TPG maintains a list of all the advisories that have been issued or updated as of Jan. 24, 2020, including all of the Level 4 advisories to date. You can also find the complete list of travel advisories on the State Department’s website.
Level 1 advisories (exercise normal precautions):
Antigua and Barbuda
Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba
British Virgin Islands
French West Indies
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Vincent and The Grenadines
Sao Tome and Principe
United Arab Emirates
Level 2 advisories (exercise increased caution):
Bosnia and Herzegovina
China (excluding Hubei province, which is at Level 4: Do Not Travel)
Israel, The West Bank and Gaza
Papua New Guinea
Republic of the Congo
The Kyrgyz Republic
Trinidad & Tobago
Turks and Caicos Islands
Level 3 advisories (reconsider travel):
Democratic Republic of the Congo
All current Level 4 advisories (do not travel):
Central African Republic
China (Hubei province)
North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)
Additional reporting by Clint Henderson.
This article has been updated as of 1/3/20.
Featured image of the map of US travel advisories by the U.S. Department of State.
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