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Do Not Travel Advisories: where to get clear, timely, and reliable safety information

Updated: Jul 9, 2019

As you plan for your summer vacation it is critical that you access clear, timely, and reliable safety and security information about every country in the world and access it at home or on the go via My Travel Health App or US State Department website.

Level 4 – Do Not Travel: 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. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time. 

As of June 30, 2019 the following countries are under Level 4 - Do not Travel list:






South Sudan


Mali Travel



Central African Republic


Please check the website well before your travel.

Syria, Iraq and Iran are all on the Do not Travel List.

It is advisable to read the detail advisory, if you plan to travel to any of the above countries. Each country has different kinds of risks. Risks are categorized as follows:

Risk Indicators

Travel Advisories at Levels 2-4 contain clear reasons for the level assigned, using established risk indicators and specific advice to U.S. citizens who choose to travel there. These are:

C – Crime: Widespread violent or organized crime is present in areas of the country. Local law enforcement may have limited ability to respond to serious crimes.

T – Terrorism: Terrorist attacks have occurred and/or specific threats against civilians, groups, or other targets may exist.

U – Civil Unrest: Political, economic, religious, and/or ethnic instability exists and may cause violence, major disruptions, and/or safety risks.

H – Health: Health risks, including current disease outbreaks or a crisis that disrupts a country’s medical infrastructure, are present. The issuance of a Centers for Disease Control Travel Notice may also be a factor. 

N - Natural Disaster: A natural disaster, or its aftermath, poses danger.

E - Time-limited Event: Short-term event, such as elections, sporting events, or other incidents that may pose safety risks.

O – Other: There are potential risks not covered by previous risk indicators. Read the country’s Travel Advisory for details.

K – Kidnapping or Hostage Taking: Criminal or terrorist individuals or groups have threatened to and/or have seized or detained and threatened to kill, injure or continue to detain individuals in order to compel a third party (including a governmental organization) to do or abstain from doing something as a condition of release.  

If you must go to any of the above listed countries you must leave your itinerary with someone in the USA who is not traveling and can follow-up in case of emergency. Keep them informed as much as possible while traveling from one destination to another. It is always a good idea to enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.

Benefits of Enrolling in STEP

The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.Receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.

Also helps the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.

And helps family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.

It goes with saying using Common Sense when in a foreign country precedes all the advisories.

Travel Well. Travel Safe.

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