The U.S. State Department upgraded its travel warning to the highest level Thursday, urging against all international travel due to the global impact brought on by the coronavirus outbreak.
The alert advises Americans not to travel overseas and those who are out of the country to return immediately if they can, or, if unable to, shelter in place.
“The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19,” it said in the alert. “In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel.”
The “level 4” travel warning is considered unprecedented and the highest rating alert issued by the department, an upgrade that followed after a “level 3” alert only advised citizens to “reconsider” traveling.
For those who have decided to travel abroad or are already outside the country, the State Department asks citizens to:
- Consider returning to your country of residence immediately using whatever commercial means are available.
- Have a travel plan that does not rely on the U.S. Government for assistance.
- Review and follow the CDC’s guidelines for the prevention of coronavirus
- Check with your airline, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
Visit travel.state.gov to view individual Travel Advisories for the most urgent threats to safety and security.