In what has quickly become an almost inevitable announcement based on the COVID-19 spread in the last week, the US State Department has now gone to the highest level – Level 4 – travel advisory.
US Goes to Level 4 – No Travel Abroad
On March 15, the US raised the global alert level to Level 3, “Reconsider Travel.” As of just now (May 19), the US State Department raised that up to Level 4 for travel to the world. [What do US Travel Alerts Really Mean?]
What a Level 4 means for US citizens is that Americans need to avoid traveling abroad. If Americans are currently abroad, they need to return home. This doesn’t mean that the US is at all “healthier” than other countries with the COVID-19. In fact, many countries around the world are closing their doors to those who have been in the US (in addition to other places like Iran, China, Italy, and others).
Here is part of why they are saying this:
“Many countries are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice. Airlines have cancelled many international flights and several cruise operators have suspended operations or cancelled trips. If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite timeframe.”
Again, the US isn’t immune to these health issues and virus but a US citizen will likely have an easier time dealing with this all from the comfort of their own home in the US instead of as a visitor in a different country. [See what the US can and cannot do in a crisis]
For those Americans abroad, if they do not plan on returning to the US, it is time to hunker down where they are and prepare to shelter in place.
Here is what they recommend:
If you decide to travel abroad or are already outside the United States:
- Consider returning to your country of residence immediately using whatever commercial means are available.
- Have a travel plan that does not rely on the U.S. Government for assistance.
- Review and follow the CDC’s guidelines for the prevention of coronavirus.
- Check with your airline, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
- Visit travel.state.gov to view individual Travel Advisories for the most urgent threats to safety and security.
- Visit our Embassy webpages on COVID-19 for information on conditions in each country or jurisdiction.
- Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States
- Visit Keeping workplaces, homes, schools, or commercial establishments safe.