Home Travel The New State Department Travel Advisory Levels Are Crazily Inaccurate

The New State Department Travel Advisory Levels Are Crazily Inaccurate

by SharonKurheg

The U.S. State Department has a system in place to warn U.S. travelers of potential safety issues before they travel internationally. The warnings (well, advisories) are in levels, based on the amount of perceived potential danger. Here’s how they currently measure each level. This most recent version of the system has been in effect since early 2018.

As we reported late last week, the U.S. State Department has removed the global Level 4 ‘Do Not Travel’ advisory for going overseas. It had been in effect since March, when the 2019 Novel Coronavirus had been labeled a pandemic, and it was a way to warn U.S. citizens that traveling outside the country probably wasn’t safe, due to health safety reasons.

Since then, various countries have been very effective in decreasing or eliminating the virus. Others not so much, and still others somewhere in between. That’s why the State Department has decided to remove the blanket advisory and rate each country individually, based on how it’s doing at any given moment.

The thing is, some of its advisories are, well, out of touch. I mean, here’s the list of all their travel advisories. Now, look at these…

There are a total of two countries that are at a Level 1 advisory – Macau and Taiwan. Macau, which shut down fast and hard after their first case in January, had 46 cases, all of which have recovered. Kudos to them! Taiwan, which also did a beautiful job in containing the virus, had 479 confirmed cases. 7 of those passed away and 443 recovered. Which means they still have 29 active cases. From Google:

There are 9 countries at a Level 2 advisory. Of those, Antarctica’s is due to environmental hazards and both Thailand’s and Hong Kong’s are due to a mixture of COVID-19 and civil unrest. The other six Level 2 countries include Brunei (1 active case), Fiji (8 active cases), French Polynesia (2 confirmed cases), Mauritius (zero active cases), New Caledonia (zero active cases), and New Zealand (24 active cases).

If two of these 6 countries currently have no residents who have the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, why are they not at a Level 1? And why is Taiwan, with its 29 active cases, at a lower level than countries that have less active cases than them?

But wait, it gets better!

There are some countries that, to date, have never had any cases of COVID-19. Here’s the list of them. With the exception of Cook Islands and Niue (neither of which the State Department report on), every single one of those countries THAT HAVE NEVER HAD EVEN ONE CASE are listed as a Level 3 advisory due to COVID-19.

It just makes you scratch your head and think, HUH?

Many countries, of course, are at a higher level of 3 and 4, and deservedly so. Besides crime, domestic terrorism and civil unrest, their number of coronavirus cases are out of control and they’re doing little to contain them. Speaking of which, I wonder what level advisory the United States would get right now?

#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands #wearamask

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

1 comment

James August 10, 2020 - 4:16 pm

I had hoped it would actually be something pointed out inconsistencies in the State Department’s warnings, but many of the things you said actually make sense. Small islands-how do they get their stuff? Boat? Air freight is very expensive right now. What if something happened, can you get out to get medical treatment?
Taiwan has a population 4 times that of New Zealand. So actually New Zealand is more dangerous if they have similar amounts of cases. If there are 0 cases, truly 0, then yes, that place would be supersafe, as 0 is 0 regardless of how many people live there.

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