State Department Rolls Out New Travel Advisory Program

Greece at lowest risk level, says US State Department

Women have been discouraged from traveling alone as rape is "one of the fastest growing crimes in India". Some people would have no second thoughts of traveling to Iran, for example, which is rated Level 4.

The advisory has been issued by the United States State Department, which asked the citizens to avoid going to Jammu and Kashmir except for the Buddhist-dominated region of Ladakh. It also warned of potential for armed conflict within 10 km of the India-Pakistan border in the state. Violent crime, such as sexual assault, has occurred at tourist sites and in other locations.

Malaysia has been ranked among countries with the lowest advisory level for safety and security risk under the United States' newly-improved travel advisory programme.

Moving forward, every country will be given a level ranging from one, being almost no risk; to level four, a do not travel warning. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. It is also tells citizens to "reconsider travel to Nairobi neighborhood of Eastleigh at all times and Old Town in Mombasa at night due to crime".

"Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Pakistan".

For each country that has a Level 2 or above, the warning will specify what the risks or threats are and why travelers may need to reconsider travel, exercise caution or not to travel at all. Turkey, Russia and Venezuela are considered level 3.

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Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) are placed in the "do not travel" category due to terrorism.

"They target tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, military and government installations, airports, universities, . schools, hospitals, places of worship, and local government facilities", it added.

The standard jargon at the State Department's website (travel.state.gov) used to be a "warning" - something serious that would suggest extra caution (and sometimes more) - or an "alert", which often was a red flag, sometimes temporary, telling travelers about, say, an election or the aftermath of a natural disaster.

The full travel advisory for Greece can be found here.

"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.

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