WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of State has issued a level 4 travel advisory, advising Americans to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus.
Thursday afternoon, DOS said that if U.S. citizens are in countries where commercial departure options are still available, they should arrange for immediate return to America, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period of time.
Travel Advisory: Level 4 - The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of #COVID19 . In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the US should arrange for immediate return. pic.twitter.com/MydSzFffYd
— Travel - State Dept (@TravelGov) March 19, 2020
The department says U.S. citizens who live abroad should also avoid all international travel, because many countries are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice.
Airlines have canceled many international flights and several cruise operators have suspended operations or canceled trips.
“If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite timeframe,” said DOS.
If you decide to travel abroad or are already outside the United States, DOS offered these tips:
· 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.
· Visit our Embassy webpages on COVID-19 for information on conditions in each country or jurisdiction.
· Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States
· Visit Keeping workplaces, homes, schools, or commercial establishments safe.
This story is breaking and will be updated.