US new travel advisory includes India, asks flyers to exercise extra caution

The State Department debuted a new system for warning travelers about potential danger abroad

The State Department debuted a new system for warning travelers about potential danger abroad

The United States of America on Wednesday released new travel advisory for its residents in which it says "reconsider travel" plan to Pakistan, placing it at Level 3 of its four point safety ranking system.

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.

Placing Pakistan in Level 3 (reconsider travel) category, the State Department has advised U.S. citizens to not travel to Balochistan province, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province, and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) due to terrorism.

In Mexico, a level 2, the State Department grades each of the nation's 31 states on the same scale.

This category includes countries like Iran, North Korea, Iraq and Syria. "People often didn't understand the difference between a travel alert and a travel warning". We have witnessed some horrific incidents against tourists in the country. Azad and Jammu Kashmir (AJK) is also listed in this category "due to terrorism and the potential for armed conflict". The new rankings, found on travel.state.gov, are applied to every country, even Antarctica.

Mexico, a level two country, has complained in the past that U.S. alerts hurt tourism, but the site gives a detailed breakdown of areas to avoid because of drug cartel violence.

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The Democratic Republic of Congo was ranked at Tier 2, despite what the State Department has flagged as "ongoing instability and sporadic violence in many parts of the country".

The new system includes an interactive world map, with countries colour-coded blank, yellow, orange or red, according to their rankings. "We have a small footprint there, and our ability to help people in an emergency there is very limited, so that is also a factor".

The US Department of State wants to provide travellers with clear, timely, and reliable information. The state department blamed crime and terrorism for the increased level of caution advised to its travelers.

The new page for Cuba on the State Department's travel website states that Americans should, "Reconsider travel to Cuba due to health attacks directed at U.S. Embassy Havana employees".

Cuba, which recently revived diplomatic ties with the USA, was rated Level 3 because of an investigation of health attacks against diplomatic officials.

"We wanted it to be an easier to understand system", Risch said.

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