The U.S. Department of State issues travel advisories to United States citizens when they feel people could potentially be in a dangerous situation should they visit the said area(s). We’ve reported some more recent advisories, such as:
- New risk indicator for travel includes 35 countries labeled “at risk” (2019)
- New travel advisory for citizens of U.S., U.K. and other countries who are going overseas (2019)
- New travel advisories for U.S. travelers (2018)
One thing we, as Americans, rarely hear about when it comes to travel advisories and the safety recommendations the governments of other countries make about us. Like these…
The Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade tells its citizens that there’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack in the U.S. (they used the massacres in Austin, San Santonio, Orlando and San Bernadino as examples). They also warn their citizens that the U.S. has a higher level of violent crime in Australia and, “You’re almost twice as likely to be killed in a motor vehicle accident in the U.S. as you are in Australia.”
Austria warns its citizens traveling to the U.S. that crime, especially pickpocketing, is generally higher in larger cities and recommends to not resist a robbery due to the likelihood of guns. They also suggest that medical costs are extraordinarily high in the U.S., so having travel insurance is very strongly recommended.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued an ongoing advisory a few years ago for all Bahamians, but, “In particular young males are asked to exercise extreme caution…in their interactions with the police. Do not be confrontational and cooperate.”
The Canadian government warns of violent crimes, credit card fraud, terrorism, demonstrations and home break-ins. “Canadians living in holiday homes have been the victims of break-ins and burglary,” says the Canadian government’s official travel website. “Whether you are staying in either private or commercial accommodations, make sure you lock windows and doors securely at night and when you are away.”
France’s government tells its citizen, among other things, that breastfeeding in public may be shocking in some places, and there is a high risk of bank card fraud due to, in particular, the lack of secure microchip and PIN code.
Among other advisories about political demonstrations and increased risk of politically motivated violence, the German government warns its citizens that, “In recent years, some terrorist attacks have been perpetrated in the U.S.” and “the U.S. government points out the possibility of further attacks and calls for extra caution.”
Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade warns about the measures to target immigrants include, “authorisation for police officers to detain people they suspect of being in the US illegally.”
“Although some of the measures are being contested in the courts, it is important that you have your documents available for scrutiny if you’re asked by law enforcement officials to present them wherever you are in the United States,”
safetravel.govt.nz suggests exercising increased caution in the U.S. due to the threat of terrorism and active shooters.
“There is a heightened threat of terrorism in the United States and terrorists remain likely to try to carry out attacks. A number of politically motivated attacks have occurred in recent years, causing multiple deaths and injuries. In March 2018, a series of bomb attacks occurred in Austin and San Antonio, Texas, causing 2 deaths and several injuries. In October 2017, a vehicle attack near the World Trade Centre in New York left 8 people dead and at least 13 injured. On 17 September 2016, an explosion occurred in the Chelsea neighbourhood of New York causing a number of injuries.
“Active shooter incidents occur from time to time in the United States. For advice on how to respond to an active shooter situation, please see the US Department of Homeland Security website.
On 18 May 2018, 10 people were killed and 14 others injured in a shooting at a school in Santa Fe, Texas. On 5 November 2017, a shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs in Texas resulted in the deaths of 26 people, with 20 others injured in the attack. On 2 October 2017, 58 people were killed and over 800 others were injured in a shooting at a music concert in Las Vegas.”
So there you go. Regardless of what we think of the United States, other countries are well aware of the very real problems we have with domestic terrorism, racism, gun safety, violent crimes, credit card fraud, how we treat people seeking asylum, and even our (*cough*) puritanical opinions about nudity.
What you or I think personally think about any of these things doesn’t matter; it’s a shame we’re so far gone that other countries are warning their citizens about us. I think it’s a very poor reflection on our so-called title of “best country in the world.”
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary