The US Department of State has issued another round of travel advisories in recent days, this time advising travelers not to visit Indonesia – home of wildly popular travel destinations Bali – as well as several other countries around the world. The updates, which are published regularly as the State Department reacts to events, issues and situations around the world, are vital in ensuring that travelers are aware of things that may compromise their safety on vacation.
Whilst travel advisories don’t carry any legal weight to prevent travelers from heading to a destination or not, they are bound to make them think twice about their trips – with the latest announcement sure to come as a blow to those who had Bali in their sights. Here’s a look at the recent travel advisory updates, plus a reminder of what exactly they are and what they mean for travelers.
Travel Advisory Updates – What Travelers Should Know
Travel advisories are issued to every country, with those with little threat to a traveler’s safety given a Level 1 warning, and those with serious threats handed Level 4 advisories. Yesterday’s travel advisory updates saw countries given Level 3 and Level 4 travel advisory updates, which suggests travel to these countries carries a high degree of risk. This is reflected in the wording of the warning level; those heading to Level 3 destinations are advised to reconsider travel, whilst those looking to visit a place with a Level 4 travel advisory warning are explicitly told Do Not Travel.
Several different factors are considered before a country is given a warning level. Issues such as crime, terrorism, civil unrest, health issues and natural disasters are assessed, along with other factors such as the embassy’s ability to help travelers in the country. Unsurprisingly, Covid-19 plays a significant role in a country’s warning level at present, with the virus being one of the key reasons why travelers are being told not to travel to Indonesia.
Indonesia has been given a Level 4 travel advisory by the State Department in yesterday’s update. Indonesia’s travel advisory page tells travelers not to visit the country due to high levels of Covid-19, whilst also advising travelers in Indonesia to exercise extreme caution due to the threat that issues such as terrorism and natural disasters pose to travelers. Unfortunately for Indonesia, the travel advisory has come at a bad time for the country.
After months of almost impenetrable borders, Bali had recently announced their plans to reopen to foreign travelers this month, with travelers having to complete a short period of time in quarantine first. The recent travel advisory may not only make travelers reconsider their plans to visit the struggling island, but the situation in the country could make them reconsider their plans to reopen.
Also receiving Level 4 travel advisory updates yesterday were the following countries:
South Korea, Moldova, French Polynesia, Eswatini, Comoros, Belarus and Azerbaijan.
Two countries, Mauritius and El Salvador, were given Level 3 travel advisories. At present, more than half of the countries in the world have been deemed to be very high risk – a stark reminder that whilst countries may be easing their restrictions, we are still in a pandemic.
Whilst Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the countries’ travel advisory levels, it isn’t the only factor in the decision – travelers should read the full travel advisory page of the country they are visiting in order to be fully informed. Travel advisories alone can’t prevent a traveler from visiting a destination, but should always play a part in the decision of whether to travel or not. Regardless of destination and warning level, travelers should ensure they have a solid travel insurance policy in order to keep them well protected when abroad.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories