Secretary of Defense Travel and Participation in the 19th Shangri-La Dialogue > U.S. Department of Defense > Advisory


Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby provided the following statement:

On June 7, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III will depart for a trip to Singapore and Thailand.

As part of his fourth official visit to the Indo-Pacific region, Secretary Austin will participate in the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) 19th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore and meet with key Indo-Pacific leaders to advance U.S. defense partnerships across the region.

From there, Secretary Austin will travel to Bangkok, as the United States and Thailand take important steps toward modernizing the U.S.-Thai alliance and expanding the depth and breadth of our military cooperation. 

Secretary Austin’s trip falls on the heels of the U.S.-ASEAN Special Summit earlier this month and President Biden’s visit to the Republic of Korea and Japan.  It is an affirmation of the United States’ deep commitment to working in concert with allies and partners to chart our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific, anchored in ASEAN centrality.



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U.S. State Department Issues 12 New Travel Advisory Updates


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The US Department of State has issued 12 new travel advisory updates recently as part of its ongoing efforts to keep American citizens safe on their travels abroad. Updated frequently to ensure information is fresh and relevant, travel advisories serve as an essential tool for travelers to consult prior to booking vacations, providing up to date and easy to digest information about all of the risks that travelers may face when visiting a specific foreign country. 

Whilst they can not legally prevent a traveler from visiting a destination abroad, travel advisories play an important role in helping a traveler to decide whether or not it is a good idea to take a trip at that moment in time, and should always be checked before travel. Here’s a recap of what exactly a travel advisory is, how their different levels are calculated and which countries were featured in this week’s most recent update. 

What Are Travel Advisories? What Travelers Should Know

Travel advisories come in four distinct levels, ranging from the least severe Level 1 – which suggests a country is more safe to visit – to the most severe Level 4. A range of different issues are taken into consideration when it comes to deciding a country’s travel advisory level, with issues such as crime, terrorism, civil unrest and health concerns all taken into account before a country is handed its official level.

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On top of travel advisories from the State Department, destinations are also given an advisory level from the CDC, which takes into account the risk of Covid-19 in that country. After dozens of Level 4 health warnings were handed out to countries throughout the pandemic, the CDC altered its system to “reserve Level 4 travel health notices for special circumstances, such as rapidly escalating case trajectory or extremely high case counts,” as the world pivoted towards living with Covid-19, which saw the number of Level 4 countries fall.

Travel Advisory Updates – Information For Travelers

The most recent updates to the State Department’s travel advisories came just yesterday, with 12 new advisories being published online. The updates clearly show the improvement of the Covid-19 situation around the world, as none of the countries included were handed the more severe Level 3 and Level 4 travel advisory warnings. The majority of the updates were Level 1 travel advisories – which recommend travelers “exercise normal precautions” – with just three countries handed Level 2 updates. 

Here’s more details about the recent Level 1 updates:

  • Paraguay – risk of crime in certain areas, CDC states unknown level of Covid-19
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – CDC states low level of Covid-19
  • Angola – risk of crime and kidnapping in urban areas, CDC states low level of Covid-19
  • Namibia – CDC states low level of Covid-19
  • British Virgin Islands – CDC states moderate level of Covid-19
  • Mongolia – CDC states moderate level of Covid-19
  • New Zealand – CDC states high level of Covid-19
  • Fiji – CDC states high level of Covid-19
  • Brunei – CDC states high level of Covid-19

Three countries were handed Level 2 travel advisories, which recommend that travelers exercise increased caution in these destinations. They are as follows:

  • The Bahamas – exercise increased caution due to crime, CDC states low level of Covid-19
  • Bolivia – traveler should exercise increased caution due to civil unrest, CDC states moderate level of Covid-19
  • Jordan – exercise increased caution due to risk of terrorism, with Syrian border area particularly dangerous. CDC states high level of Covid-19
Female Tourist Holding Her Partner's Hand Visiting Petra, Jordan

As well as travel advisories, there are other sources that American can use to provide information about the safety of a destination. A recent survey revealed which countries American travelers perceived to be the safest, whilst an index that calculates the safety of destinations for LGBTQ travelers was also recently updated.

Read More:

This Index Reveals The Safest and Most Dangerous Destinations For LGBTQ Travelers

Travel Insurance That Covers Covid-19

260 Companies Urge Biden To Remove Testing Requirement To Enter U.S.

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories



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COVID Precautions Recommended in 12% of US Under Chicago Travel Advisory – NBC Chicago


Approximately 12% of U.S. counties are either considered as medium or high community levels for COVID-19, according to the city of Chicago’s travel advisory and the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For the first time since travel advisory guidance was revised earlier this year, Chicago itself and several suburban counties are listed in the medium category, meaning safety COVID measures are advised in those areas, too. City health officials a week earlier acknowledged the shift was possible, noting it could happen in the coming weeks.

Those who visit areas listed as medium community levels are encouraged to wear a mask in indoor public spaces, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health. In the 79 U.S. counties listed as having high community levels, the following precautionary measures are advised:

  • Wear a mask in indoor public places
  • Stay home and quarantine for five days after travel 
  • Take a COVID test 3-5 days after return. If it is positive, stay home and follow CDC guidance. 

Travelers who are at least 5 years old and aren’t up to date with COVID vaccinations should avoid traveling to areas listed as high community levels, according to the recommendations. Unvaccinated individuals who opt to travel should follow CDC guidance upon returning to Chicago.

As of Friday, the Northeast and New England remain the nation’s COVID-19 hotspots, with nearly all the high community level counties in a region stretching from western New York to northern Maine.

In Illinois, no counties are listed as high community levels, but a total of 13 are considered medium. Those counties are Lake, McHenry, Winnebago, Dekalb, Kane, DuPage, Kendall, and Will in the Chicago area and Champaign, Douglas, Logan, McLean and Sangamon in central Illinois.

Portions of the Midwest are also classified in the medium category, including counties surrounding Detroit, Milwaukee and Minneapolis-St. Paul, according to the CDC. Grand Traverse County in northern Michigan and Pennington County in northwest Minnesota are the only two Midwest counties with high community levels.



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Winter weather travel advisory in effect for Easter Monday


Environment Canada has issued a winter weather travel advisory for some of Southwestern Ontario. 

Starting Easter Monday afternoon and going into the evening, there will be snowfall amounts of between 4 to 8 centimeters in London, Parkhill, Strathroy, Komoka, and east and west Middlesex County. 

The onset of precipitation will likely begin as rain, before quickly changing over to snow. Visibility will be significantly reduced due to heavy snowfall at times, with rates peaking at up to 3 centimetres per hour. 

Above freezing temperatures early in the day may limit snowfall accumulations somewhat, especially on surfaces such as roads and sidewalks.

Environment Canada is advising travelers to take extra care, and adjust their driving with changing road conditions. 

The snow is expected to end late this evening, followed by clouds and a 40 per cent chance of flurries. 



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Stark County issues No Travel Advisory


The Stark County Sheriff’s Office is advising No Travel for Stark County roadways due to the accumulating snow reducing visibility and dangerous road conditions from the continued snow.

They are asking the citizens to hunker down to ride out the storm.

Deputies will be out to respond to emergencies that may arise but due to the weather condition’s response time may be drastically affected.



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TRAVEL ADVISORY: Cebu Pacific issues travel tips to fly easy during Holy Week


Team Out of Town Blog Hub (Outoftownblog.com) – Cebu Pacific (CEB), the Philippines’ leading airline, is excited to welcome passengers and fly them to their destinations this Easter holiday and is ready to provide everyJuan the best possible experience for a seamless journey.

Cebu Pacific RPC4125
Cebu Pacific RPC4125

Here are some travel reminders:

Be On-Time at the Airport

Passengers must be at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 and 4    at least three (3) hours before departure for domestic flights, and four (4) hours for international flights.

Check-in Online

Long lines may be avoided at the airport by checking in via the official CEB mobile app or via the Manage Booking section of the CEB website. Both options are available from seven (7) days up to one (1) hour before the scheduled time of departure for domestic flights, and up to four (4) hours before scheduled departure for international fliers.

Check Flight Information

All check-in counters close one (1) hour before the scheduled time of flights to ensure there is ample time for all necessary pre-flight procedures. If possible, passengers must immediately proceed to their respective boarding gates. Boarding commences 45 minutes before the scheduled departure.

Self-Tag Luggage for Select Domestic Destinations

Guests flying out of select domestic destinations (Manila, Davao, General Santos, Bohol, Iloilo, and Zamboanga) are reminded to self-tag their check-in luggage prior to proceeding to counters for bag drops, in line with the airline’s contactless flight procedures.

Single Hand Carry and Exemptions

Passengers must bring only one carry-on bag for a more convenient flight experience.     The carry-on bag must not exceed 7kg in weight and can fit in the overhead bins or under the seat.

CEB recently added exempted items allowed to be carried on top of their single hand-carry bag, enabling passengers to carry one from the below categories:

  • Gadgets or food items that cannot be checked in;
  • Items purchased inside the airport (requires proof of receipt);
  • Assistive or medical items such as walking canes, foldable walkers;
  • Baby food and necessities for adult passengers traveling with infants;
  • Or a small bag that can fit under the seat

Checked Baggage Policy

Passengers are encouraged to purchase pre-paid baggage with their tickets during initial booking on the CEB website and mobile app.

CEB has implemented a per-piece baggage policy that applies to all passengers with
checked baggage. Passengers have the option to purchase either a 20kg or a 32kg –
both equivalent to only one (1) piece of check-in luggage. A maximum of two options
can be purchased per traveler, now enabling everyJuan to carry up to 64 kg worth of
bags from the previous 40 kg limit.

Any excess in size, weight, and pieces are subject to Oversized Baggage Fee, Excess Baggage Fee, and/or Extra Bag Fee, respectively.

Check The Airport Terminal Assignment Of Your Flight

Passengers must check their itineraries and boarding pass before proceeding to their designated Airport Terminal. Cebu Pacific’s 5J flights arrive at and depart from the NAIA 3, while Cebgo (DG) flights to and from Manila operate from the NAIA T4 on Domestic Road, Pasay City.

Travelers are strongly advised to check for updates with the authority of their destination prior to entry. They may also refer to http://bit.ly/CEBTravelRequirements for more information.

Guests must also update contact details on their bookings so they will be notified of pre-flight reminders and flight changes.

CEB continues to implement a multi-layered approach to safety, while it operates with a 100% fully vaccinated crew, 90% of whom have been boosted with third shots to ensure that every Juan flies safely and conveniently on Cebu Pacific.

The airline has also been rated 7/7 stars by airlineratings.com for its COVID-19 compliance in accordance with global aviation standards. Its jet fleet is equipped with hospital-grade HEPA (High-Efficiency Particular Arrestor) air filters, keeping viruses at bay.

CEB operates the widest domestic network in the Philippines covering 34 destinations, on top of its 13 international destinations. It has a 75-strong fleet, one of the youngest in the world, which includes two (2) dedicated ATR freighters.

Follow Out of Town Travel Blog on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Bloglovin, and Pinterest if you want more travel and tech-related updates.

Read: Cebu Pacific Rolls Out Per Piece Checked Bag Options Starting April 6





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Travel advisory issued in Montgomery County due to rain


Montgomery County Sheriff Jeff Smith issued a travel advisory on Thursday night, warning residents to stay off the roads due to standing water in many areas.

Residents were urged to avoid unnecessary travel until at least 6 a.m. Friday. High water from hard rain had closed roads throughout the county.

With more rain expected, staff from the Montgomery County Emergency Services and sheriff’s office said they would provide any potential updates.

People who must drive should avoid bodies of water, and report problems to 911.



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CDC Lowers Jamaica Travel Advisory to Level 1


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has lowered its travel advisory for Jamaica.

The country is now at the lowest level, Level 1. Countries classified as Level 1 have low cases of the virus, and its status reflects that Jamaica’s case levels have steadily decreased in recent months.

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Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism for Jamaica, noted that now tourism can continue to rebound.

“A Level 1 travel advisory is amongst the best news the tourism industry can hope for,” said Minister Bartlett. “This reduced designation is a testament to the work of our government and the Jamaican people as well as a hopeful incentive to keep our tourism recovery moving forward.”

Bartlett also noted that tourism numbers have continued to increase and expressed hope for a meaningful recovery by 2023.

“In 2021, Jamaica welcomed more than 1.5 million visitor arrivals to our shores. These visitors’ on-island spend contributed over USD $2.095 billion into our country’s economy, positively impacting local businesses and tourism stakeholders,” said Minister Bartlett. “For 2022, the outlook for the tourism sector remains positive with projections for approximately 2.45 to 2.5 million visitor arrivals and a total visitor spend of about USD $2.9 billion.”

Jamaica continues to be dedicated to its comprehensive CARES health and safety protocols, which were among the first to receive the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Safe Travels recognition.

Travelers still need a COVID-19 test to travel to Jamaica, but the country has eliminated the need for the Travel Authorization Form and any quarantine.

“Travelers can continue to rest assured that our island is among the safest choices in the Caribbean and in the world,” said Bartlett.





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Ventnor travel agency owner named to Antigua & Barbuda Travel Agent Advisory Board | Local News


VENTNOR CITY — Susan Berman, owner of Ventnor City-based travel agency Berman Travel, LLC, will now serve on the Antigua-Barbuda Tourism Authority’s Advisory Board as a U.S. representative, the agency said Friday.

Berman has been in business since 2002, having started her agency in Philadelphia. It has won numerous awards, including recognition as a Karisma Resorts G.I. Diamond Agency.

“Susan’s extensive knowledge and experience in the travel industry, along with her operating a very successful travel agency for the past 20 years, has made her very well respected in the travel and tourism industry, and we are so fortunate she has accepted this appointment,” Dean Fenton, USA Marketing director for the Antigua-Barbuda Tourism Authority, said in a statement Thursday. “Susan is a true specialist and a force to be reckoned with, and her expertise will be invaluable as a board member.”

Susan has visited the Caribbean many times, the organization said in a news release, and can offer detailed travel advice to tourists going to Antigua.

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“I am really honored and excited to be appointed to the eight-member Antigua & Barbuda Travel Agent Advisory Board and look forward to an active role in helping to advance tourism growth to this beautiful Caribbean paradise,” Berman said in a statement Friday.

Contact Eric Conklin:

609-272-7261

econklin@pressofac.com

Twitter @ACPressConklin



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CDC, State Department Issue Varying Travel Advisory Updates


The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and State Department have issued updates to their travel advisory lists.

For the CDC, the agency did not add any destinations to its Level 4: Very High category in its latest update, a positive sign for the return of international travel. Since the decline of Omicron coronavirus cases, the number of destinations at Level 4 has dropped from its peak of 140 to 115.

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While the number of destinations the CDC advises against travel to has declined, popular tourism hotspots remain at Level 4, including Aruba, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Peru, Spain and the United Kingdom.

The CDC dropped several destinations from Level 3 to Level 2 on Monday, including the Bahamas, Jamaica, the Philippines and Saint Kitts and Nevis. The government agency also dropped its warning to Level 1 for travel to India.

As for the State Department, several popular tourism locations were listed at Level 3 due to concerns about crime rates and coronavirus. In Jamaica, the government warns of widespread crime, including sexual assaults that “occur frequently, including at all-inclusive resorts.”

In the Bahamas, the State Department said “violent crime, such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assault occur, but generally not in tourist areas,” while the agency advises against tourists using “independently operated jet-ski rentals on New Providence and Paradise Islands.”

The government also noted that travelers should reconsider travel due to “crime, terrorism, civil unrest and kidnapping.”

Earlier this month, the CDC lowered the COVID-19 travel health notice for cruise ships to Level 2, which is a “moderate” risk. The agency continues to urge cruise passengers to get recommended coronavirus vaccines.





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