travel.state.gov: Travel Alerts

Travel Alerts are issued to disseminate information about short-term conditions, generally within a particular country, that pose imminent risks to the security of U.S. citizens. Natural disasters, terrorist attacks, coups, anniversaries of terrorist events, election-related demonstrations or violence, and high-profile events such as international conferences or regional sports events are examples of conditions that might generate a Travel Alert.

The State Department alerts U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Kenya that Kenya’s Elections Commission has announced that new Presidential elections will be held on October 17, 2017.

This Travel Alert replaces the Travel Alert dated April 6, 2017 and expires on October 31, 2017.

Rallies, demonstrations, and protests may occur with little notice. As with all large events, there is the opportunity for criminal elements or terrorists to target participants and visitors. Even events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. You should avoid areas of demonstrations and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.

  • Although there is no indication that U.S. citizens may be targets of violence, you are urged to exercise caution and remain abreast of the security situation throughout the electoral period. 
  • Monitor media and local information sources regarding election-related developments, and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.
  • Avoid crowds and remain alert when using public transportation.
  • Report specific safety concerns to local law enforcement authorities.
  • Stay in touch with your family members and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.
  • During elections, restrictions on traffic circulation, either imposed by the authorities or caused by political rallies, can be expected.
  • Please refer to our message dated March 13, 2017, for tips on personal preparedness.  

For further information:

  • See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Kenya Specific Information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. 
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Kenya located on United Nations Avenue, Nairobi, at +254 (0) 20 363 6451 7:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +254 (0) 20 363 6170.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
Posted: September 13, 2017, 2:25 pm
The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the continued threat of terrorist attacks throughout Europe.

This travel alert expires on November 30, 2017. 

Recent, widely reported incidents in France, Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Finland demonstrate that the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS or Da’esh), al-Qa’ida, and their affiliates have the ability to plan and execute terrorist attacks in Europe.  While local governments continue counterterrorism operations, the Department remains concerned about the potential for future terrorist attacks.  U.S. citizens should always be alert to the possibility that terrorist sympathizers or self-radicalized extremists may conduct attacks with little or no warning. 

Extremists continue to focus on tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities as viable targets.  In addition, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, high-profile events, educational institutions, airports, and other soft targets remain priority locations for possible attacks.  U.S. citizens should exercise additional vigilance in these and similar locations.

Terrorists persist in employing a variety of tactics, including firearms, explosives, using vehicles as ramming devices, and sharp-edged weapons that are difficult to detect prior to an attack.

If you are traveling between countries in Europe, please check the website of a U.S. embassy or consulate in your destination country for any recent security messages.  Review security information from local officials, who are responsible for the safety and security of all visitors to their host country.  U.S. citizens should also:

  • Follow the instructions of local authorities.  Monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.
  • Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions.
  • Stay in touch with your family members, and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.
  • Have an emergency plan of action ready.
  • Register in our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

We continue to work closely with our European partners and allies on the threat from international terrorism.  Information is routinely shared between the United States and our key partners to disrupt terrorist plotting, identify and take action against potential operatives, and strengthen our defenses against potential threats.

For further information:

Posted: August 31, 2017, 2:25 pm
The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the Hurricane and Typhoon Seasons in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricane and Typhoon Season will last through November 2017, though most tropical cyclones typically develop between May and October. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recommends that those in hurricane  and typhoon prone regions begin preparations for the upcoming seasons now. This Travel Alert expires on December 1, 2017.

The Atlantic Basin, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea: Hurricane Season in the Atlantic began June 1. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center expects a 45 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 35 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 20 percent chance of a below-normal season. NOAA predicts a 70 percent chance of 11 to 17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of those, five to nine are predicted to strengthen to a hurricane (winds of 74 mph or higher) and two to four are expected to become major hurricanes (with winds of 111 mph or higher, ranking Category 3, 4 or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale). NOAA recommends that those in hurricane-prone regions begin preparations for the upcoming season now.

The Eastern Pacific: Hurricane season in the Eastern Pacific began on May 15, 2017. NOAA expects a near- or above-normal season, with a 40 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season, and a 20 percent chance of a below-normal season. NOAA predicts a 70 percent chance of 14 to 20 named storms, of which six to eleven are expected to become hurricane strength. Of those, three to seven are expected to become major hurricanes (Category 3, 4, or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale).   

Western and Central Pacific: Typhoon season in the Western and Central Pacific runs from June 1 to November 30. NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) predicts an 80 percent chance of a near or above normal season. CPHC expects five to eight tropical cyclones to affect the central Pacific this season. For information on typhoon warnings, please consult the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Honolulu, the National Weather Service's Central Pacific Hurricane Center, and the Regional Specialized Meteorological Center (RSMC) Tokyo - Typhoon Center.

In the past, U.S. citizens were forced to delay travel (including return travel to the United States) due to infrastructure damage to airports and limited flight availability. If you are planning to travel to regions of the world often affected by hurricanes, typhoons, or cyclones, visit our Tropical Storm Season – Know before You Go page for more information about the potential dangers and inconveniences associated with your travel before finalizing plans.  

If you live in or are traveling to storm-prone regions, prepare by organizing a kit in a waterproof container that includes a supply of bottled water, non-perishable food items, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, any medications taken regularly, and vital documents, especially your passport and other identification. Emergency shelters often provide only very basic resources and may have limited medical and food supplies. For additional tips, visit NOAA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). 

For further information:

Posted: June 5, 2017, 2:25 pm
The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the ongoing potential for extremist violence in Bangladesh. This Travel Alert supersedes the November 10, 2015 alert and expires on July 22, 2016.

Reports suggest that terrorist attacks could occur against foreigners in Bangladesh, especially in large gatherings.  Since September 2015, Bangladesh has experienced a series of increasingly sophisticated violent attacks.  These include the murders of two foreign nationals, as well as bombs and other attacks against gatherings of religious groups and security forces.  The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) publicly claimed credit for many of these attacks.  Additionally, groups saying they represent Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) claimed responsibility for a series of threats and terrorist attacks targeting writers, publishers, and others in the media, including the murder of a U.S. citizen blogger.  The U.S. government assesses that the terrorist threat remains real and credible, and further attacks are possible.

The Government of Bangladesh has taken steps to pursue extremists and strengthen security, and thousands of U.S. citizens visit each year without incident. Nevertheless, U.S. citizens should take precautions, remain vigilant, and be alert to local security developments. Although U.S. government officials in Bangladesh continue to conduct official business without incident, U.S. government officials and their families currently are not permitted to:

  • visit many public places;
  • travel on foot, motorcycle, bicycle, rickshaw, or other uncovered means on public thoroughfares and sidewalks;
  • attend large gatherings in Bangladesh, including events at international hotels. 

The Embassy encourages U.S. citizens to adopt similar security measures.

For further information:

  • See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. 
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh, located at Madani Avenue, Baridhara, Dhaka, Bangladesh 1212, at (88) (02) 5566-2000, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.  Weekends and After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is (88) (02) 5566-2000 (press “0” and ask for the duty officer).
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
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Posted: February 12, 2016, 3:25 pm
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