State Department Rolls Out New Travel Advisory Program

State Department makes changes to travel warning system

Washington-The US on Wednesday issued a new travel advisory for countries including India, which its officials said is "user friendly" as it is based on ready-to-understand level of advice ranging from one to four.

Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) are placed in the "do not travel" category due to terrorism.

The U.S. State Department increased the risk factor with new travel warnings for Americans in Mexico Wednesday.

India has been ranked Level 2 (exercise increased caution) while Pakistan has been places in Level 3 (reconsider travel).

Under the new rankings, level 1, the lowest advisory, signals a need to "exercise normal precautions" in places where there is no more than the usual risk involved in worldwide travel.

According to advisory, over the past six months, there have been at least 40 significant terrorist attacks across Pakistan, resulting in over 225 deaths and 475 wounded, most of which occurred in Balochistan, KPK, and the FATA.

Several European countries that are popular with American tourists were put at the Tier 2 level due to risks related to terrorism.

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Meanwhile, alerts, such as hurricane warnings, demonstration alerts and other considerations, will continue to be released from the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.

Some examples of countries listed at level two at the time of publication include Mexico, due to crime in certain areas, and the United Kingdom, due to elevated risks of terrorism.

The advisory issued by the State Department categorised over dozen countries in terms of threat level with Pakistan occupying Level 3, the second last level in terms of danger.

"The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in rural areas from eastern Maharashtra and northern Telangana through western West Bengal as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel to these areas", it added. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory.Conditions in any country may change at any time. The State Department noted that there "are no US government restrictions" in tourist areas in both those states, including Ensenada, Rosarito, Tijuana, Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo and La Paz.

Perennial US adversary Russian Federation was listed as a Tier 3 country, due to the risk of "terrorism and harassment".

Based on CNN's review of the published information eleven countries landed in Tier 4: Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, the Central African Republic, Yemen. A new system unveiled yesterday scraps all that.

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