State Department issues updated travel caution

7 Mar 16

UNITED STATES

The State Department has released an updated Worldwide Caution, detailing ongoing security threats in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and East Asia and the Pacific, among other regions.

“Recent terrorist attacks . . . serve as a reminder that U.S. citizens need to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness,” said the statement, which was issued Thursday.

The State Department regularly issues notices of security or health threats Americans may face when traveling abroad.

While the Worldwide Caution issued Thursday noted that “credible information” indicates that extremist groups are plotting attacks in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and East Asia and the Pacific, it is considered less serious than specific Travel Warnings (which indicate that travelers should strongly consider not traveling to a country at all) or Travel Alerts (providing travelers with information about short-term events that might affect security).

The Worldwide Caution, which includes a breakdown of threats by region, is available on the State Department’s website.

BAL Analysis: Travelers should exercise caution when they are abroad, especially in regions where officials believe extremist groups are interested in attacking Americans or American interests. Employers may wish to encourage their employees to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, a free service that provides updated security information and allows Americans to register their trips abroad with the closest U.S. embassy or consulate.

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