Thursday, March 24, 2016

Europe Travel Alert

I took the liberty of making some amendments to the U.S. State Department’s recent European travel advisory. Hope they help!

Europe Travel Alert

The State Department alerts U.S. citizens to potential risks and benefits of travel to and throughout Europe following several terrorist attacks, including the March 22 attacks in Brussels claimed by ISIL. Terrorist groups continue to plan and defend themselves against near-term attacks throughout Europe, targeting sporting events, tourist sites, restaurants, and transportation, but not bookstores, art galleries, theatres or cinemas.  This Travel Alert expires on June 20, 2016.
U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using mass transportation. Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid crowded places, unless your work with one of our agencies requires that you be in these places. Exercise particular caution during religious holidays, and at large festivals or events. But if caution is not an option, feel free to respect all religious holidays and festivals.
U.S. citizens should also: 
       Follow the instructions of local authorities, especially in an emergency.

Learn the names of items sold in local (ethnic) markets.

       Monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.

Speak to those who do not speak English in the same volume as you would to those who do.

       Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions.

If you want to take somebody’s picture, ask the person in the language of the country you are travelling in.

       Stay in touch with your family members and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.

Encourage family members who are antagonistic towards the countries you are visiting, or are about to visit, to keep and open mind.

       Register in our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

European governments continue to guard against terrorist attacks and conduct raids to disrupt plots, often killing or injuring innocent people in the process. We work closely with our allies and will continue to share information with our European partners that will help identify and counter terrorist threats, especially those partners who do not share our definition of a terrorist.
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. 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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