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These Countries Have Warned Against Travel to The U.S. Learn Why
Travel advisories are a common way for countries to provide guidance to their residents when traveling abroad. Similar to the U.S. State Department, some countries issue warnings or advisories to alert their citizens to potential risks when traveling to certain destinations.
Despite the opinion of some, it’s not always the case that the U.S. is considered a safe destination. While many countries advise taking normal safety precautions when visiting the U.S., others are issuing general warnings about crime. At least one country currently has a heightened travel advisory in place for the United States. Others have warned against travel to America in the past due to incidents of violence and hate crimes.
New Zealand categorizes its travel advisories into four levels, ranging from “exercise normal safety and security precautions” to “do not travel.” The current travel advisory level for the U.S. is 2 out of 4, meaning travelers are advised to exercise increased caution.
New Zealand’s government attributes the rating to the threat of terrorism. The U.S. remains a target of terrorist interest from both international terror groups and domestic-based extremists. Citing credible information assessed by U.S. authorities, New Zealand warns that individuals or groups have developed both the intent and capability to conduct terrorist attacks in the U.S., which could be indiscriminate and affect places visited by foreigners.
The Canadian government advises taking normal security precautions similar to those taken in Canada. However, the government notes the high rate of firearm possession in the U.S. and that it is legal in many states for citizens to openly carry firearms in public.
Incidents of mass shootings occur, which can result in casualties. The government advises tourists to familiarize themselves with how to respond to an active shooter situation. Additionally, Canada warns its residents about the risk of criminal incidents at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Australia’s travel warnings range from 1 to 4, with the U.S. classified under the lowest level of exercising normal safety precautions. Australia does, however, warn its citizens that violent and gun-related crimes are more common in the U.S. than in Australia. Additionally, the country warns of a “persistent and heightened threat of terrorist attacks and mass casualty violence in the U.S.,” and advises people to remain vigilant when in public places or attending events.
The UK government shares on its website that violent crime, including gun crime, is not a common occurrence involving tourists in the United States. The UK acknowledges that incidents of mass shootings can happen, although they account for a small percentage of homicide deaths. The government recommends that individuals read the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s guidance on how to respond to an active shooter event.
France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs considers the United States to be among the safest countries. The department does, however, advise travelers about certain urban areas and an increase in carjacking incidents nationwide. The ministry provides a breakdown of potential threats in neighborhoods in major U.S. cities, such as Boston, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
In Boston, the ministry recommends avoiding certain parts of Dorchester, Mattpan, and Roxbury when traveling alone, on foot, and at night. Similarly, travelers to Los Angeles should steer clear of certain areas, including east, south, and southeast neighborhoods like Watts, Inglewood, and Florence.
Venezuela & Uruguay
Two South American countries, Venezuela and Uruguay, issued travel warnings about the United States in 2019. Venezuela recommended that its citizens postpone travel to the U.S. or take extreme precautions due to the “proliferation of acts of violence and indiscriminate hate crimes.”
Meanwhile, Uruguay’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged travelers to take extreme precautions in the face of growing indiscriminate violence, particularly hate crimes, due to the widespread possession of firearms by the U.S. population. It advised avoiding places with large concentrations of people such as theme parks, shopping centers, festivals, artistic events, religious activities, gastronomic fairs, and any type of mass cultural or sporting events. These warnings followed mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.