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Tour India with 'increased caution', says new U.S. travel advisory

Tour India with 'increased caution', says new U.S. travel advisory

On January 10, 2018, the Department of State launched improvements to how we share information with USA travelers.

"The new travel advisories will continue to provide what we used to call the country-specific information about things like entry requirements, special circumstances, health issues perhaps, road safety issues and things like that".

Georgia was listed as level 1, the category described as "the lowest advisory level for safety and security risk". Country pages on the site will continue to include all travel information now available, including details about entry/exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, transportation, and other relevant topics.

Meanwhile, Russia and Turkey are at Level 3.

Travellers should not visit countries in Level 4, mainly Middle East and African nations, due to the greater likelihood of life-threatening risks, according to the US Department of State.

The new rankings replace the vague and often confusing system of issuing "travel alerts" for short-term dangers posed by events such as epidemics or mass protests, and "travel warnings" for long-standing concerns such as armed conflict or political instability.

"We reduced staffing in Havana, and every time we do that we release a travel warning, which is reflected in our current Level 3 for Cuba", she said.

'America First' and 'Make in India' are compatible: Envoy Juster
Noting that while bilateral trade has increased manifold over the years, Juster said that there is still plenty of room to grow. The US envoy in particular emphasised on India's role in Indo-Pacific region and opportunities in economic partnership.

The revised system assigns levels of advice (1 to 4) about travel as it pertains to every country.

"But essentially how we assess the threat level in a country hasn't changed".

The travel advisory comes on the heels of suspension of aid to Pakistan as outlined by President Trump in his first tweet of 2018, alleging that Pakistan responded with deceit and lies against the $33b provided to it, a claim Pakistan rejects both in terms of statistics and observation. At this level, the US government may have "very limited ability to provide assistance" to travelers.

Apart from these advisories, the State Department is unable to prohibit travel to any country other than North Korea, which requires a waiver on a case-by-case basis.

Level 4 is for do-not-travel countries, those with a "greater likelihood of life-threatening risks" in which the USA government may be limited in its ability to help.

The advisory further goes on adding U.S. employees are mandated to take special authorization from USA consulate general offices before traveling to states with Naxalite activity or the states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Manipur, reported India Today.

The State Department does, however, restrict the use of a U.S. passport for travel to North Korea.


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