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The U.S. Department of State has changed the way it will communicate with U.S. citizens abroad with the launch of Travel Advisories and Alerts to replace the previously used Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, Emergency Messages and Security Messages.

Effective as of Jan. 10, 2018, the recently redesigned Department of State website,, now features Travel Advisories for each individual country, which will provide levels of advice to visitors ranging from level one to four. Levels of advice may also vary for specific locations or areas within the country. The levels are as follows:

  • Level 1- Exercise Normal Precautions
  • Level 2- Exercise Increased Caution
  • Level 3- Reconsider Travel
  • Level 4- Do Not Travel

In addition to issuing an overall Travel Advisory level for every country, the U.S. Department of State will also provide detailed explanations for the chosen level based on established risk indicators, such as crime, terrorism, civil unrest, health, natural disaster, and time-limited events (i.e. election, sporting event), as well as other factors. For more time-sensitive matters, the Department has replaced Emergency Message and Security Messages with Alerts that will be sent out by U.S. embassies and consulates.

To receive security and other important updates while traveling, U.S. citizens can enroll their travel plans through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program and follow the social media channels of the Department of State.

For more information, visit