The U.S. State Department raised its travel advisory to the maximum level on Thursday in response to the coronavirus crisis, warning Americans at home not to leave the country, and those abroad to return to the United States from if possible.
“We have some breaking news for you now. The U.S. State Department is raising the travel advisory to the highest level, which basically says Americans should not travel abroad,” announced CNN’s Jake Tapper on The Lead, Thursday, before asking CNN national security correspondent Kylie Atwood, “So this is an advisory, but not a ban?”
“Yeah, it’s an advisory, but it’s the highest level that the U.S. State Department can issue to Americans considering travel abroad. It is telling them do not travel,” explained Atwood. “And to give you a little bit of context, Jake, this is generally the level that’s reserved for countries where there could be Americans that could face life or death situations. Places like Afghanistan and Syria. So putting the world on par with those countries due to coronavirus shows you how seriously the State Department is taking the spread of coronavirus worldwide.”
“What they say in this travel advisory that just went out moments ago is that any Americans who are in countries where there’s commercial travel available for them to get back to the U.S., they should go ahead and get on those flights as soon as possible,” she continued, adding, “And it warns that if Americans do choose to travel abroad even though this advisory has gone out, they may face an indefinite amount of time that they’re going to have to remain there.”
“Now the question, of course, is for Americans that are in countries right now that have closed their borders, that have shut down their airspaces,” Atwood noted. “We know that there are hundreds if not thousands of Americans already trying to get home, so this is going to put even more stress on State Department and their systems to try and get those Americans home. We know that is something actively being discussed at the State Department and within the White House.”
Shortly after, Atwood also claimed “there is the possibility” that the State Department “could send U.S. flights, U.S. government flights to pick up these individuals” from countries abroad.
Watch above via CNN.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]