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Many countries issue travel warnings Empty Many countries issue travel warnings

周六 12月 10, 2022 12:53 am
Many countries issue travel warnings

American travelers -- at least those of the cautious variety -- might be familiar with the US State Department's travel advisories.

The agency monitors the world for potential trouble and issues warnings from "Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions" to "Level 4: Do Not Travel," alerting would-be visitors to terrorism threats, war, arbitrary enforcement of local laws, high crime rates and other personal security issues.

But have you ever wondered how other countries' governments caution their citizens about coming to the United States? What kind of reputation does America have?

After all, the rate of gun-related deaths is the United States is going up. And mass shootings in America -- 610 as of November 25, according to Gun Violence Archive -- have become commonplace and make headlines around the world.

CNN Travel checked out what the governments of the United States' neighbors and closest allies have to tell their citizens about coming here. It's not exactly a flattering picture.

Would-be visitors aren't being warned off entirely as if America is an active war zone. Each nation has its own approach, but a general theme boils down to this: The United States is more violent than what you're used to. Learn to take precautions there that you might not have to take at home.

The other takeaway: Violent crime rarely involves tourists.

Here's more on what nine countries -- which account for a good chunk of the US international tourism traffic -- have to say:

In 1996, 35 people were killed in a mass shooting in Port Arthur on the island of Tasmania. In the wake of the massacre, Australia passed stricter gun control laws that included "a near ban on all fully automatic or semiautomatic firearms," according to Britannica online encyclopedia.

So for more than 25 years, Australians have lived in quite a different gun culture than that of Americans.

The Australian government warns its citizens who plan to visit the US that "violent crime is more common than in Australia and gun crime is possible in all areas. Follow local guidance and instructions. If you live in the US, learn active shooter drills."

On its SmartTraveller website, the Australian government also reminds would-be travelers that "it's legal for US citizens to openly carry firearms in public."

It goes on to say that "the US has a higher level of violent crime than Australia, but incidents rarely involve tourists." It does not provide notice of specific incidents "unless there's a significant risk to Australians."
Still, it's not warning its citizens off US travel. As of November 25, it advised to "exercise normal safety precautions in the United States of America."

Canada advises its citizens to "take normal security precautions" when visiting the United States.

The Canadian government warns its citizens about crossing the US-Mexico border by car, citing "criminal incidents associated with drug trafficking." It tells its citizens to avoid traveling at night at the border.

It also warns about gang- and organized crime-related violence in large urban areas, noting that violent crime "rarely affects tourists," but cautioning travelers to be mindful of their surroundings and not to resist if threatened by robbers.

The government also reminds Canadians of the frequent mass shootings in the United States. "Incidences of mass shootings occur, resulting most often in casualties. Although tourists are rarely involved, there is a risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time."

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom reminds would-be visitors to America that "incidents of mass shooting can occur, but account for a very small percentage of homicide deaths."

It also tells its citizens that "violent crime, including gun crime, rarely involves tourists, but you should take care when travelling in unfamiliar areas. Avoid walking through less traveled areas alone, especially at night."
Like Canada, the UK cautions about the US-Mexico border.

In the advice column, the UK warns its citizens away from inappropriate humor: "Don't make flippant remarks about bombs or terrorism, especially when passing through US airports."

Lauren Redfern, a 31-year-old London resident who is completing a PhD in medical anthropology, made extensive trips to the United States in 2018 (Chicago to New Orleans) and 2022 (Los Angeles).

She told CNN Travel this past summer that she had awareness about US gun violence as she started her 2018 trip, but she felt far removed from it. "At that time, I absolutely wouldn't consider doing anything differently" than she'd do in the United Kingdom.

But while staying in an Airbnb in New Orleans, she was doing laundry in a common area when someone cracked open a door and poked in the barrel of a shotgun.

No shots were fired, but "it was this weird, out-of-body experience where it really made me think and appreciate and understand 'oh, this is very real' on a level I have never experienced and will never experience in the UK."
"That experience definitely changed my sense of personal safety while traveling in the US," Redfern said.

It didn't deter her from making another US trip, but "it changed the way I thought about American culture." She's much less likely now to venture out alone when visiting the United States versus London, where she has no worries about doing so.

Israel

Israel is a very security-minded country with special ties to the United States.
It issues warnings on a scale of 01 to 04, the latter being of the highest risk level. Israel's travel warnings are focused on terrorism directed specifically at its citizens when abroad vs. more general crime worries.

For example, people are warned away from the North African nation of Algeria, which has an 04 ranking because of terror groups and "hostility towards Israel on the Algerian street."

However, the United States is rated at 01 ("ordinary precautions") despite a rise in anti-Semitic incidents.
France

The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a different take.

It says generally "the United States of America is among the safest countries," but it does warn French citizens about some urban areas and notes an increase in carjackings.

Interestingly, the ministry breaks down potential threats to very specific neighborhoods. A couple of examples:

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• In Boston, "it is recommended to avoid traveling alone, on foot and at night, in certain parts of Dorchester, Mattapan and Roxbury."
• In Atlanta, French visitors are told to "be vigilant in isolated areas of the city center (downtown) after the close of business and favor taxi travel at night."


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