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Warnings and Alerts


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The latest travel warnings and alerts from the government

Reconsider Travel to Mauritania due to crime and terrorism

Violent crimes, such as mugging, armed robbery, rape, and assault, are common. Local police lack the resources to respond effectively to serious crimes.

Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting places frequented by Westerners.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Mauritania as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel outside Nouakchott. U.S. government employees must travel only during daylight hours and are prohibited from walking alone at any time.

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

If you decide to travel to the Mauritania:

  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Avoid demonstrations.
  • Use caution when walking or driving at night.
  • Always carry a copy of your U.S. passport and visa (if applicable).  Keep original documents in a secure location. 
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and be prepared to adjust your plans.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • 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 Mauritania.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Posted: February 22, 2018, 12:00 am

Exercise increased caution in Trinidad and Tobago due to crime and terrorism.  Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory. 

Do not travel to Laventille, Beetham, Sea Lots, Cocorite, and the interior of Queen's Park Savannah in Port of Spain due to crime.  

Violent crime, such as murder, robbery, assault, sexual assault, home invasion, and kidnapping, is common. 

Gang activity, such as narcotics trafficking, is common.  A significant portion of violent crime is gang-related.

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 Trinidad and Tobago:

  • Use caution when walking or driving at night.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Do not display overt signs of wealth, such as expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Be extra vigilant when visiting ATMs. 
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • 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 Trinidad and Tobago.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations.
  • Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Port of Spain

Violence and shootings occur regularly in some areas of Port of Spain.  U.S. government personnel are prohibited from travelling to the following areas:  Laventille, Beetham, Sea Lots, Cocorite, and the interior of Queens’ Park Savannah.  After dark, U.S. government personnel are prohibited from travelling to downtown Port of Spain, Fort George overlook, and all beaches.   

Posted: February 22, 2018, 12:00 am

Exercise increased caution in Guinea due to civil unrest

Sporadic demonstrations continue to occur across the country. Some have turned violent, resulting in injuries and several fatalities. Demonstrators have also attacked vehicles when drivers attempted to pass through or around the protests.

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

If you decide to travel to Guinea:

  • 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 security messages 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 Guinea.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Posted: February 16, 2018, 12:00 am

Exercise increased caution when traveling in Ethiopia due to the potential for civil unrest and communications disruptions. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do not travel to:

  • Somali Regional State due to potential for civil unrest, terrorism, and landmines.

Reconsider travel to:

  • The East Hararge region of Oromia state due to civil unrest.
  • The Danakil Depression region in Afar due to crime.
  • Border areas with Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan and Eritrea due to armed conflict or civil unrest.

The Government of Ethiopia has restricted or shut down internet, cellular data, and phone services during and after civil unrest. This impedes the U.S. Embassy’s ability to communicate with, and provide consular services to, U.S. citizens in Ethiopia.

As of February 16, 2018, a State of Emergency is in effect.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens outside of Addis Ababa. 

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

If you decide to travel to Ethiopia:

  • Monitor local media for breaking events and be prepared to adjust your plans.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
  • Carry a copy of your passport and visa and leave originals in your hotel safe.
  • 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 Ethiopia.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Somali Region

Civilians have been killed and injured in civil unrest along the Oromia-Somali Regional State border and in ongoing military operations against armed groups in the Ogaden and Hararge areas.

Terrorists maintain a presence in Somali towns near the Ethiopian border, presenting a risk of cross-border attacks targeting foreigners.

There are also landmines in this region.

U.S. government personnel may not take personal trips to the Somali region.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

The East Hararge Region of Oromia State

Demonstrations can occur anywhere with little warning. Civil unrest has resulted in injuries and deaths in parts of Oromia State. Government security forces have used lethal force in response to some demonstrations.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

The Danakil Depression in Afar

Violent crime, such as armed assault, is common.

The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa has restricted travel to Danakil Depression for Embassy personnel.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Border Areas with Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan and Eritrea

U.S. government personnel may not take personal trips to:

  • The border areas with Eritrea in the Tigray and Afar regions.
  • The border with Kenya in the Oromia region.
  • Gambella (except Gambella City).
  • Benishangul Gumuz (except Asosa) adjacent to the Sudan border.  

U.S. government personnel must travel to Gambella City and Asosa by plane only. 

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

 

Posted: February 16, 2018, 12:00 am

Exercise increased caution in South Africa due to crime.  Be aware that Cape Town and Western Cape Province are experiencing a severe drought.  Please read entire message.

Violent crime, such as armed robbery, rape, carjacking, mugging, and "smash-and-grab" attacks on vehicles, is common.  There is a higher risk of violent crime in the central business districts of major cities after dark. 

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

Cape Town and Western Cape Province

Western Cape Province is experiencing a serious drought with reported shortages in the municipal water supply in Cape Town. Water restrictions are in place for agriculture and businesses in the areas. The City of Cape Town has restricted household water use to 50 liters per person per day. “Day Zero,” the day when municipal water will no longer be piped to most households and businesses, is subject to change based on a number of factors. Please see our Alerts for up-to-date information.

If you decide to travel to South Africa:

Posted: February 13, 2018, 12:00 am

Exercise increased caution in Maldives due to terrorism and civil unrest

Terrorist groups may conduct attacks with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities. Attacks may occur on remote islands which could lengthen the response time of authorities.      

A country-wide state of emergency is in effect. Security forces have been deployed in Malé to prevent public gatherings and anti-government demonstrations. Protests have also been reported in Maafushi where political prisoners are being held.

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

If you decide to travel to Maldives:

  • Avoid demonstrations and crowds.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and be prepared to adjust your plans.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
  • 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 Maldives.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Posted: February 6, 2018, 12:00 am

Some areas have increased risk.  Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Exercise increased caution in the Philippines due to crime, terrorism, and civil unrest.      

Do not travel to:     

  • The Sulu Archipelago, including the southern Sulu Sea, due to crime, terrorism, and civil unrest.
  • Marawi City in Mindanao due to terrorism and civil unrest.

Reconsider travel to:

  • Other areas of Mindanao due to crime, terrorism, and civil unrest.
  • The vicinity of Mayon Volcano in Albay Province, Luzon due to volcanic activity.

Terrorist and armed groups continue plotting possible kidnappings, bombings, and other attacks in the Philippines. Terrorist and armed groups may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities. The Philippine government has declared a “State of National Emergency on Account of Lawless Violence in Mindanao.” 

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

If you decide to travel to the Philippines:

The Sulu Archipelago and Sulu Sea

Terrorist and armed groups kidnap U.S. citizens on land and at sea for ransom.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in the Sulu Archipelago and Sulu Sea as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel to those areas. 

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Marawi City in Mindanao

The Philippine government has declared martial law throughout the Mindanao region. Civilians are at risk of death or injury due to conflict between remnants of terrorist groups and Philippine security forces in Marawi. 

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Mindanao as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel there.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Mindanao

The Philippine government has declared martial law throughout the Mindanao region. The Philippine government also maintains a state of emergency and greater police presence in the Cotabato City area, and in the Maguindanao, North Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat provinces. 

Terrorist and armed groups continue to conduct kidnappings, bombings, and other attacks targeting U.S. citizens, foreigners, civilians, local government institutions, and security forces. 

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Mindanao as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel there.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Mayon Volcano

Volcanic and/or seismic activity poses danger.  

Monitor local media as well as the Philippine authority website http://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/.  Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas. 

Posted: January 24, 2018, 12:00 am

Exercise increased caution in China due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws and special restrictions on dual U.S.-Chinese nationals.

Chinese authorities have the broad ability to prohibit travelers from leaving China (also known as ‘exit bans’); exit bans have been imposed to compel U.S. citizens to resolve business disputes, force settlement of court orders, or facilitate government investigations. Individuals not involved in legal proceedings or suspected of wrongdoing have also be subjected to lengthy exit bans in order to compel their family members or colleagues to cooperate with Chinese courts or investigators.

U.S. citizens visiting or residing in China have been arbitrarily interrogated or detained for reasons related to “state security.” Security personnel have detained and/or deported U.S. citizens for sending private electronic messages critical of the Chinese government.

China may refuse to acknowledge dual U.S.-Chinese nationals’ U.S. citizenship, including denying U.S. assistance to detained dual nationals, and preventing their departure from China. If a dual U.S.-Chinese national enters China on a Chinese government travel document, such as, but not limited to, a Chinese passport or a national ID card, U.S. consular officers will not be allowed to visit the individual or assist in interactions with the Chinese government should the individual be arrested, detained, or involved in criminal or civil investigation.

If you plan to enter North Korea from China, read the North Korea Travel Advisory.

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

If you decide to travel to China:

  • Enter China on your U.S. passport with a valid Chinese visa.
  • If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy or the nearest consulate immediately.
  • 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. Follow the U.S. Embassy on Twitter, WeChat, and Weibo.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Reports for China.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Posted: January 22, 2018, 12:00 am

Exercise normal precautions in Mauritius. 

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

If you decide to travel to Mauritius:

Posted: January 18, 2018, 12:00 am

Exercise increased caution in Anguilla due to the aftermath of a natural disaster.

Anguilla continues to rebuild following Hurricane Irma in September 2017.  Some of the hotels on the island remain closed, but transportation routes, power, and telecommunications systems have been restored.

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

If you decide to travel to Anguilla:

Posted: January 18, 2018, 12:00 am

 

Check out additional information on our travel page.

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