- State Department issued its most severe warning telling Americans not to travel aboard and to shelter in place if they are overseas
- Also warned Americans would not be able to count on the U.S. government to help them get home if global travel shuts down
- You should ‘have a travel plan that does not rely on the U.S. Government for assistance’ if you travel abroad, the department warned
- Many American citizens have been trapped when countries closed their borders with little warning in an effort to contain the coronavirus
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
The State Department on Thursday warned Americans abroad they would not be able to count on the U.S. government to help them get home if global travel shuts down.
The department issued a new level four guidance – its highest warning – that Americans should not travel abroad because of the coronavirus and warned people they would be stuck overseas if they choose to do so.
Additionally, the guidance warns people ‘if you decide to travel abroad or are already outside the United States’ then you should ‘have a travel plan that does not rely on the U.S. Government for assistance.’
‘Consider returning to your country of residence immediately using whatever commercial means are available,’ the department advises.
President Trump’s State Department warned Americans they would not be able to count on the U.S. government to help them get home if global travel shuts down
Tourists stranded in Morocco try to get a flight out
There are multiple reports of American citizens who got trapped when countries closed their borders with little warning in an effort to contain the coronavirus. Americans in places as far away from each other as Morocco and Peru have complained they are unable to get commercial travel out of the respective countries and have not gotten assistance from the U.S. government.
The department also advised Americans abroad to shelter in place given the coronavirus threat.
‘The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel,’ read the ‘Global Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel’ posted to the department’s website on Thursday.
The virus has gone global with 178 countries and territories reporting a total of 241,772 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The global death toll is at 9,989 deaths.
And it’s effected the rich and the famous. Prince Albert of Monaco has tested positive for the coronavirus. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is self-quarantining after his wife Sophie tested positive.
Coronavirus has gone global: Prince Albert of Monaco has tested positive for it and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is self-quarantining after his wife tested positive
President Donald Trump said earlier in the day he could not confirm a report that the United States planned to warn Americans overseas to come back or shelter in place.
But he noted he had a meeting later with State Department officials on the matter.
‘We haven’t had the meeting yet,’ Trump told reporters at a press conference at the White House.
But President Trump said Thursday he was aware of efforts to help a group of Americans stuck in Peru, where President Martin Vizcarra closed the borders in an effort to contain the coronavirus.
However, the president said there were no planes for an airlift.
‘Not evacuation, we are trying to get them out. They got caught,’ he said, adding the help would come ‘ probably from the military.’
Over 1,400 Americans are reported to be stuck in Peru. In Honduras, more than 50 Americans who are part of a U.S. women’s football team were stranded in the country after its borders closed.
The State Department has said it is aiding citizens abroad.