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U.S. revises travel advisory issuance plan for American citizens

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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 9 (Infosplusgabon) -  The U.S. State Department has released a new system of assessing threat levels and issuing travel advisories, which would include a red-alert threat level, equivalent to a travel ban.


In a statement on Tuesday, the State Department said the new threat assessment and classification schedule was part of its responsibility to support the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas.


"The Department of State is improving our communications with U.S. citizen travellers to provide clear, timely, and reliable safety and security information worldwide," the US Embassy in Addis Ababa explained.


It said the Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs, which is charged with the protection of U.S. citizens abroad, will launch a new Travel Advisory for each country on Wednesday.


Travel Advisories will replace the previous system of Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts with a single platform using plain language to help U.S. citizens find and use important security information. The new system of grading threats is classified from level one to level four.


According to the State Department, level one threat level would require US citizens to exercise normal precautions.


Level one would be denoted by the blue colour, which would become the new symbol for the lowest advisory level for safety and security risk.


"There is some risk in any international travel.  Conditions in other countries may differ from those in the United States and may change at any time," the State Department said.


The second category, yellow alert, or level two, would require U.S. citizens to exercise increased caution. It would serve as a warning to citizens to be aware of heightened risks to safety.


According to latest classification, an Orange Alert level would require Americans to reconsider travel. It would advise them to avoid travel due to serious risks to safety and security.


The Red-Alert, which is classified as level four, would essentially ban travel to countries classified red.


"This is the highest advisory level due to greater likelihood of life-threatening risks.  During an emergency, the U.S. government may have very limited ability to provide assistance.  The Department of State advises that U.S. citizens not travel to the country or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so," it said.


While overall levels will be set for each country, some Travel Advisories may include different levels of advice for specific areas within a country.


Threat assessment will be based on the level of crime. Widespread violent or organized crime  present in areas of the country. The assessment will also be based on terrorism threats.


"This new system will be deployed worldwide and does not reflect a change in our security posture toward any particular country.  It was developed over the past year based on feedback about our consular safety and security messaging," the State Department said.








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