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Warnings and Alerts


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The latest travel warnings and alerts from the government

Exercise normal precautions in Djibouti. 

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Djibouti:

Posted: December 12, 2018, 12:00 am

Exercise increased caution in Cote d’Ivoire due to crime and terrorism.

Violent crime, such as carjacking, robbery, and home invasion, is common.

Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting areas frequented by foreigners, such as beaches.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens outside of Abidjan. Embassy personnel are prohibited from driving outside the major cities after dark, including between Abidjan, Grand Bassam, and Assinie.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Cote d’Ivoire:

  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
  • Carry a copy of your passport and visa (if applicable) and leave originals in your hotel safe.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Cote d’Ivoire.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Posted: December 11, 2018, 12:00 am

Do not travel to South Sudan due to crime and armed conflict.

Violent crime, such as carjackings, shootings, ambushes, assaults, robberies, and kidnappings is common throughout South Sudan, including Juba. Foreign nationals have been the victims of rape, sexual assault, armed robberies, and other violent crimes.

Armed conflict is ongoing throughout the country and includes fighting between various political and ethnic groups, and weapons are readily available to the population. In addition, cattle raids occur throughout the country and often lead to violence. Reporting in South Sudan without the proper documentation from the South Sudanese Media Authority is considered illegal, and any journalistic work there is very dangerous. Journalists regularly report being harassed in South Sudan, and many have been killed while covering the conflict in South Sudan.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency consular services to U.S. citizens in South Sudan. U.S. government personnel in South Sudan are under a strict curfew. They must use armored vehicles for nearly all movements in the city, and official travel outside Juba is limited. Due to the critical crime threat in Juba, walking is also restricted; when allowed, it is limited to a small area in the immediate vicinity of the Embassy and must usually be conducted in groups of two or more during daylight hours. Family members cannot accompany U.S. government employees who work in South Sudan.

Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of South Sudan, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For more information U.S. citizens should consult Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

Read the Safety and Security section on the Country Information page.

If you decide to travel to South Sudan:

  • Exercise extreme care in all parts of the country, including Juba. Travel outside of Juba with a minimum of two vehicles along with appropriate recovery and medical equipment in case of mechanical failure or other emergency.
  • Avoid travel along border areas.
  • Avoid demonstrations and public gatherings. Even events intended to be peaceful can become violent.
  • Be aware that photography in public is strictly controlled and you are required to obtain authorization from the Ministry of Information before taking any photographs or video in public – including while inside a vehicle.
  • Monitor local/international news and consular messages.
  • Enroll your trip in the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
  • Review your personal security plan and visit our page on travel to high risk areas.
  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
  • Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.
  • Share important documents, log-in information, and points of contact with loved ones so that they can manage your affairs, if you are unable to return as planned to the United States. Find a suggested list of such documents here.
  • Establish your own personal security plan in coordination with your employer or host organization, or consider consulting with a professional security organization. Your plan should include sheltering in place, maintaining outside communication, and a personal evacuation plan via commercial means.
  • Develop a communication plan with family and/or your employer or host organization so that they can monitor your safety and location as you travel through high-risk areas. This plan should specify who you would contact first, and how they should share the information.
  • Be sure to appoint one family member to serve as the point of contact with hostage-takers, media, U.S. and host country government agencies, and Members of Congress, if you are taken hostage or detained.
  • Establish a proof of life protocol with your loved ones, so that if you are taken hostage, your loved ones can know specific questions (and answers) to ask the hostage-takers to be sure that you are alive (and to rule out a hoax).
  • Leave DNA samples with your medical provider in case it is necessary for your family to access them.
  • Erase any sensitive photos, comments, or other materials from your social media pages, cameras, laptops, and other electronic devices that could be considered controversial or provocative by local groups.
  • Leave your expensive/sentimental belongings behind.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for South Sudan.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Posted: December 11, 2018, 12:00 am

Exercise Increased Caution due to terrorism, harassment, and the arbitrary enforcement of local laws. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do not travel to:

  • The north Caucasus, including Chechnya and Mount Elbrus, due to terrorism and risk of civil unrest.
  • Crimea due to Russia’s occupation of the Ukrainian territory and abuses by its occupying authorities.

Terrorist groups, transnational and local terrorist organizations, and individuals inspired by extremist ideology continue plotting possible attacks in Russia. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.

U.S. citizens visiting or residing in Russia have been arbitrarily interrogated or detained by Russian officials and may become victims of harassment, mistreatment, and extortion. Russian officials may unreasonably delay U.S. consular assistance to detained U.S. citizens. Russian authorities arbitrarily enforce the law against U.S. citizen religious workers and open questionable criminal investigations against U.S. citizens engaged in religious activity.

Russia enforces special restrictions on dual U.S.-Russian nationals and may refuse to acknowledge dual U.S.-Russia nationals’ U.S. citizenship, including denying U.S. consular assistance to detained dual nationals, and preventing their departure from Russia.

Due to the Russian government-imposed reduction on U.S. diplomatic personnel in Russia, the U.S. government may have delayed ability to provide services to U.S. citizens, especially in the Saint Petersburg area.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Russia:

  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on news information.
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
  • Have travel documents up to date and easily accessible.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter
  • Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Russia.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations and a plan to contact family to let them know you are safe. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

North Caucasus (including Chechnya and Mount Elbrus)

Terrorist attacks and risk of civil unrest continue throughout the North Caucasus region including in Chechnya, North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Dagestan, Stavropol, Karachayevo-Cherkessiya, and Kabardino-Balkariya. Local gangs have kidnapped U.S. citizens and other foreigners for ransom. There have been credible reports of arrest, torture, and extrajudicial killing of LGBTI persons in Chechnya allegedly conducted by Chechen regional authorities.

Do not attempt to climb Mount Elbrus, as travelers must pass close to volatile and insecure areas of the North Caucasus region.

The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens traveling in the North Caucasus region, including Mount Elbrus, as U.S. government employees are prohibited from traveling to the region.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Crimea

There is extensive Russian Federation military presence in Crimea. The Russian Federation is likely to take further military actions in Crimea as part of its occupation of this part of Ukraine. The international community, including the United States and Ukraine, does not recognize Russia’s purported annexation of Crimea. There are continuing abuses against foreigners and the local population by the occupation authorities in Crimea, particularly against those who are seen as challenging their authority on the peninsula.

The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens traveling in Crimea as U.S. government employees are prohibited from traveling to Crimea.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas

Posted: December 10, 2018, 12:00 am

Exercise normal precautions in the Marshall Islands.                                                                                          

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to the Marshall Islands:

Posted: December 10, 2018, 12:00 am

Exercise normal precautions in The Gambia. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.      

Exercise increased caution in:

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to The Gambia:

Southern Border with Senegal

Separatist groups have attacked travelers on roads south of The Gambia in the Casamance region of Senegal. Some landmines from the conflict remain in the border region.

Posted: December 10, 2018, 12:00 am

Exercise normal precautions in Equatorial Guinea. 

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Equatorial Guinea:

Posted: December 10, 2018, 12:00 am

Exercise increased caution in Spain due to terrorism.

Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Spain. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Spain:

  • Be aware of your surroundings when traveling to tourist locations and crowded public venues.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Spain.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Posted: December 6, 2018, 12:00 am

Exercise increased caution in Togo due to elections, crime, and civil unrest.

Parliamentary elections in Togo are scheduled for December 20. In the past, political demonstrations intended to be peaceful escalated into violence. Togolese authorities may respond with force during violent demonstrations.

Violent crime, such as carjacking, is common. Organized criminal activity, such as armed robbery, is also common. Criminals themselves are sometimes targeted for vigilante justice or lynching.

There are frequent demonstrations in Togo, during which protesters and security force members have been injured and even killed. Police have used tear gas to disperse demonstrations that caused traffic disruptions in city centers and along National Route 1, and arrested demonstrators. Security forces have at times used excessive force to disperse crowds. Authorities have interrupted internet and cellular data services during past protests, making communication difficult and unpredictable.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Togo:

  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Do not display signs of wealth, such as expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
  • Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.
  • Avoid demonstrations and crowds.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and be prepared to adjust your plans.
  • Keep travel documents up to date and easily accessible.
  • Have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Togo.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Posted: December 6, 2018, 12:00 am

Exercise normal precautions in Australia. 

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Australia:

Posted: December 6, 2018, 12:00 am

 

Check out additional information on our travel page.

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