Travel Advisories and Alerts


As of January 10, 2018, the U.S. Department of State has implemented a new Travel Advisory system (see New Travel Advisories for U.S. Travelers). This update will provide U.S. citizens with clear, timely, and reliable safety and security information worldwide.

Under the new system, the U.S. Department of State will issue each country a Travel Advisory which will provide travelers with different levels of precautionary travel information, ranging on a scale from 1 to 4 (see table below). The new Travel Advisory system will replace the Travel Warning and Travel Alert system previously offered by the U.S. Department of State.

While an overall Travel Advisory level for every country will be issued, levels of advice may vary for specific locations or areas within a country. For instance, U.S. citizens may be advised to “Exercise Increased Caution” (Level 2) in a country, but to “Reconsider Travel” (Level 3) to a particular area within the country. Travel Advisories will be updated as needed, based on changes to security and safety information.


In addition to the new Travel Advisory system, U.S. embassies and consulates will now issue Alerts to replace the current Emergency Messages and Security Messages. Alerts will inform U.S. citizens of specific safety and security concerns in a country, such as demonstrations, crime trends, and weather events (see below):

  • C - CRIME: Widespread violent or organized crime is present in areas of the country. Local law enforcement may have limited ability to respond to serious crimes.
  • T - TERRORISM: Terrorist attacks have occurred and/or specific threats against civilians, groups, or other targets may exist.
  • U - CIVIL UNREST: Political, economic, religious, and/or ethnic instability exists and may cause violence, major disruptions, and/or safety risks.
  • H - HEALTH: Health risks, including current disease outbreaks or a crisis that disrupts a country’s medical infrastructure, are present. The issuance of a Centers for Disease Control Travel Notice may be a factor.
  • N - NATURAL DISASTER: A natural disaster, or its aftermath, poses danger.
  • E - TIME-LIMITED EVENT: A short-term event, such as an election, sporting event, or another incident that may pose a safety risk.
  • O - OTHER: There are potential risks not covered by previous risk indicators. Read the country’s Travel Advisory for details.

The Department’s newly-redesigned hub for traveler information, travel.state.gov, will host all Travel Advisories, recent Alerts issued for each country, and an interactive map in mobile-friendly formats. Country pages on the site will continue to include all travel information currently available, including details about entry/exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, transportation, and other relevant topics.

To receive security and other important updates while traveling, U.S. citizens can enroll their travel plans in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (step.state.gov), and follow us on Twitter (@travelgov) and Facebook (facebook.com/travelgov).

Information is taken from the travel.state.gov website.