Government Warnings

Department of State Travel Warnings and Alerts

Department of State

  • Mon, 15 Apr 2024 00:00:00 +0000: Ecuador - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution - travel.state.gov: Travel Advisories

    Updated with information about land border travel restrictions.

    Exercise increased caution in Ecuador due to civil unrestcrime, and kidnapping. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

    Do not travel to:

    • Guayaquil, south of Portete de Tarqui Avenue, due to crime.
    • The cities of Huaquillas and Arenillas in the province of El Oro, due to crime.
    • The cities of Quevedo, Quinsaloma, and Pueblo Viejo in the province of Los Rios, due to crime.
    • The canton of Duran, in the province of Guayas, due to crime.
    • Esmeraldas city and all areas north of Esmeraldas city in Esmeraldas province, due to crime.

    Reconsider travel to:

    • Guayaquil north of Portete de Tarqui Avenue due to crime.
    • El Oro province outside the cities of Huaquillas and Arenillas, due to crime.
    • Los Rios province outside the cities of Quevedo, Quinsaloma, and Pueblo Viejo, due to crime.
    • All areas south of Esmeraldas city in Esmeraldas province, due to crime.
    • The provinces of Sucumbios, Manabi, Santa Elena, and Santo Domingo due to crime.

    Country Summary: Crime is a widespread problem in Ecuador. Violent crime, such as murder, assault, kidnapping, and armed robbery, is prevalent and widespread. The rate of violent crime is significantly higher in areas where transnational criminal organizations are concentrated.

    Demonstrations occur frequently throughout the country, usually motivated by political and/or economic factors. Demonstrators routinely block local roads and major highways, often without prior notice which can lead to disruption in access to critical infrastructure.  

    Outside of Ecuador’s major towns and cities, much of the country’s territory is sparsely populated and isolated. Government assistance may be very limited and can lead to significant delays for assistance to U.S. citizens in remote areas.

    Land Border Restrictions: All foreign citizens entering the country via land border crossings from Colombia or Peru are required to present an apostilled certificate showing a lack of criminal record. Further information is available on the Ministry of Tourism’s webpage and at Ecuador.Travel. All U.S. citizens planning to enter Ecuador via a land border should comply with this requirement. See Travel.State.Gov’s Office of Authentications webpage and Criminal Records Check webpage for information on how to obtain a criminal record check and apostille from the United States. The U.S. Embassy and Consulate General in Ecuador cannot assist citizens crossing a land border in obtaining the required documentation.    

    Read the country information page for additional information on traveling to Ecuador.

    If you decide to travel to Ecuador:

    Level 4: Do Not Travel

    Guayaquil, south of Portete de Tarqui Avenue, due to crime.

    The cities of Huaquillas and Arenillas in the Province of El Oro, due to crime.

    The cities of Quevedo, Quinsaloma, and Pueblo Viejo in the province of Los Rios, due to crime.

    The canton of Duran, in the province of Guayas, due to crime.

    Esmeraldas city and all areas north of Esmeraldas city in Esmeraldas province, due to crime.

    Transnational criminal groups and local gangs regularly engage in violent criminal acts in these areas, including indiscriminate attacks without warning in public spaces. Violent crimes have included murder, targeted assassinations, armed robberies, bombings, kidnappings, and assaults, among others. Violence in these areas has steadily increased in frequency and brutality in recent months, posing an increased security risk to U.S. citizens. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling to these areas without prior authorization. As a result, the U.S. government is limited in its ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in these areas.

    Level 3: Reconsider Travel

    Guayaquil north of Portete de Tarqui Avenue, due to crime.

    El Oro province outside the cities of Huaquillas and Arenillas, due to crime.

    Los Rios province outside the cities of Quevedo, Quinsaloma, and Pueblo Viejo, due to crime.

    All areas south of Esmeraldas city in Esmeraldas province, due to crime.

    The provinces of Sucumbios, Manabi, Santa Elena, and Santo Domingo, due to crime.

    Transnational criminal groups and local gangs have sporadically engaged in violent criminal activity in these areas, with violence increasing in recent months. U.S. government personnel are directed to exercise extreme caution and maintain increased vigilance when traveling in and around these areas. 

    Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

  • Fri, 12 Apr 2024 00:00:00 +0000: Hong Kong - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution - travel.state.gov: Travel Advisories

    Exercise increased caution due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws.

    Summary: Hong Kong SAR authorities have dramatically restricted civil liberties since the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) imposed the Law of the PRC on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong SAR on June 30, 2020. Following the Hong Kong SAR government’s enactment of its own Safeguarding National Security Ordinance on March 23, 2024, Hong Kong SAR authorities are expected to take additional actions to further restrict civil liberties.

    The 2020 National Security Law outlines a broad range of vaguely defined offenses, such as acts of secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign entities. The 2024 Safeguarding National Security Ordinance builds on this framework with additional vaguely defined offenses, such as treason, insurrection, theft of state secrets, sabotage against public infrastructure, and external interference. According to the legislation, these offenses are applicable to foreign nationals within the Hong Kong SAR and to individuals, including U.S. citizens and permanent residents, located outside its borders. Under these provisions, anyone who criticizes the PRC and/or Hong Kong SAR authorities may face arrest, detention, expulsion, and/or prosecution. Hong Kong SAR authorities are attempting to enforce these provisions against individuals, including U.S. citizens and permanent residents, residing outside of their jurisdiction by offering cash rewards for information leading to their arrests in the Hong Kong SAR.

    Dual Nationality: The Hong Kong SAR government does not recognize dual nationality. Dual U.S.-PRC citizens and U.S. citizens of Chinese descent may be subject to additional scrutiny and harassment. If you are a dual U.S.-PRC citizen and enter Hong Kong SAR on a U.S. passport, and you are detained or arrested, PRC authorities are under an obligation to notify the U.S. Embassy or a U.S. Consulate General of your detention and to allow U.S. consular officials to have access to you. In practice, however, U.S. consular officers may be prevented from providing consular assistance, even to those who have entered on their U.S. passports. For more information, visit Consular Protection and Right of Abode in HK(SAR) for Dual Nationals - U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong & Macau.

    Demonstrations: Participating in demonstrations or any other activities that authorities interpret as constituting an act of secession, subversion, terrorism, or collusion with a foreign country could result in criminal charges under the 2020 National Security Law and/or the 2024 Safeguarding National Security Ordinance. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid demonstrations.

    If you decide to travel to the Hong Kong SAR:

    • Enter the Hong Kong SAR on your U.S. passport and keep it with you.
    • Read the travel information page for the Hong Kong SAR.
    • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
    • Be aware of your surroundings.
    • Avoid demonstrations.
    • Exercise caution in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests.
    • Avoid taking photographs of protesters or police without permission.
    • Keep a low profile.
    • If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong & Macau immediately.
    • Review the China Country Security Report from the Overseas Security Advisory Council.
    • Do not consume drugs in the Hong Kong SAR or prior to arriving in the Hong Kong SAR.
    • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter. Follow U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong & Macau on Facebook and Twitter.
    • Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) page for the latest Travel Health Information related to the Hong Kong SAR.
    • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations.
    • Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
    • Monitor local media, local transportations sites, and apps like MTR Mobile or Citybus for updates.
  • Fri, 12 Apr 2024 00:00:00 +0000: Macau - Level 3: Reconsider Travel - travel.state.gov: Travel Advisories

    Reconsider travel due to a limited ability to provide emergency consular services. Exercise increased caution due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws.

    Summary: The U.S. government has a limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in the Macau SAR due to People’s Republic of China (PRC) Ministry of Foreign Affairs travel restrictions on U.S. diplomatic personnel.

    Even in an emergency, the PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs requires all U.S. diplomatic personnel, including those accredited to the Macau SAR, to apply for and receive visas before entering the Macau SAR. Approval takes at least five to seven days, significantly limiting the U.S. government’s ability to offer timely consular services in the Macau SAR.

    Dual Nationality: The Macau SAR government does not recognize dual nationality. Dual U.S.-PRC citizens and U.S. citizens of Chinese descent may be subject to additional scrutiny and harassment. If you are a dual U.S.-PRC citizen and enter the Macau SAR on a U.S. passport, and you are detained or arrested, PRC authorities are under an obligation to notify the U.S. Embassy or a U.S. Consulate General of your detention and to allow U.S. consular officials to have access to you. In practice, however, U.S. consular officers may be prevented from providing consular assistance, even to those who have entered on their U.S. passports. For more information, visit Consular Protection and Right of Abode in HK(SAR) for Dual Nationals - U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong & Macau.

    Demonstrations: Participating in demonstrations or any other activities that authorities interpret as constituting an act of secession, subversion, terrorism, or collusion with a foreign country could result in criminal charges. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid demonstrations.

    If you decide to travel to the Macau SAR:

  • Fri, 12 Apr 2024 00:00:00 +0000: See Summaries - Mainland China, Hong Kong & Macau - Level 3: Reconsider Travel - travel.state.gov: Travel Advisories

    Updated due to new national security legislation in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

    Summary: Reconsider travel to Mainland China due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws, including in relation to exit bans, and the risk of wrongful detentions.

    Exercise increased caution when traveling to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws.

    Reconsider travel to the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) due to a limited ability to provide emergency consular services. Exercise increased caution when traveling to the Macau SAR due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws.

    See specific risks and conditions in each jurisdiction

  • Thu, 11 Apr 2024 00:00:00 +0000: See Individual Summaries - - travel.state.gov: Travel Advisories

    Updated with information on travel restrictions for U.S. government employees under Chief of Mission security responsibility. 

    Do Not Travel To:

    • Gaza due to terrorism and armed conflict

    Reconsider Travel To:

    • Israel due to terrorism and civil unrest
    • West Bank due to terrorism and civil unrest

    Country Summary: Terrorist groups, lone-actor terrorists and other violent extremists continue plotting possible attacks in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Terrorists and violent extremists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities. Violence can occur in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza without warning.

    Some areas have increased risk. Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Israel and the West Bank, and Gaza. 

    Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.

    If you decide to travel to Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.

    • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
    • Check the most recent Alerts at the Embassy website for the latest information on travel in all of these areas.  
    • Maintain a high degree of situational awareness and exercise caution at all times, especially at checkpoints and other areas with a significant presence of security forces. 
    • Avoid demonstrations and crowds. 
    • Follow the instructions of security and emergency response officials. 
    • Beware of and report suspicious activities, including unattended items, to local police. 
    • Learn the location of the nearest bomb shelter or other hardened shelter. Download the Home Front Command Red Alert application for mobile devices (available on devices within Israel) to receive real time alerts for rocket attacks. 
    • Obtain comprehensive travel medical insurance that includes medical evacuation prior to travel. Most travel insurance packages do not cover mental health related illnesses/care.  
    • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. 
    • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter
    • Review the Country Security Report for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.  
    • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

    Gaza – Do Not Travel

    Do not travel due to terrorism and armed conflict.

    The U.S. government is unable to provide routine or emergency consular services to U.S. citizens in Gaza as U.S. government employees are prohibited from traveling there. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are conducting large-scale military operations in Gaza against Hamas, a U.S. government-designated foreign terrorist organization, which was responsible for the October 7 attack on Israel. As a result of the armed conflict, the security environment within Gaza and on its borders is extremely dangerous and volatile. The pedestrian crossing between Gaza and Israel was damaged on October 7 and remains closed, and the pedestrian crossing between Egypt and Gaza may close without advance notice depending on the security situation. There are sporadic telecommunication and internet outages within Gaza further inhibiting the ability of residents to obtain information. 

    Visit our website for Travel to High Risk Areas.  

    If you decide to travel to Gaza:

    • Be prepared for an indefinite stay as the crossings between Gaza with Israel and Egypt can close without advance notice and for long periods during times of unrest and armed conflict.
    • Have a plan for entering and departing Gaza that does not rely on U.S. government assistance.
    • Households with infants and young children should plan for food and supplies, such as diapers and wipes, formula or baby food, and a change of clothing.
    • If you take medication, make sure to have at least five days’ worth at any given time – if you can, we encourage enough for two weeks beyond your scheduled trip and have a copy of your prescriptions handy.
    • If you use assistive or medical devices that require a power supply, be sure to find backup power or other ways that will sustain your device or equipment during a power outage.
    • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
    • Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.
    • Leave DNA samples with your medical provider in case it is necessary for your family to access them.

    Please be sure to visit our website for How to Prepare for a Crisis for information that may be helpful. 

    Israel – Reconsider Travel

    Reconsider travel due to terrorism and civil unrest.

    The security situation remains unpredictable, and U.S. citizens are reminded to remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness as security incidents, including mortar and rocket fire, often take place without warning.

    U.S. government employees in Israel under Chief of Mission security responsibility are currently restricted from personal travel to the following locations:

    • Within seven miles of the Gaza demarcation line, as well as the cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon;
    • Within 2.5 miles of the Lebanese and Syrian borders; and
    • Within 1.5 miles of the Israel-Egypt border.

    Additional travel restrictions may be imposed on U.S. government employees under Chief of Mission security responsibility, with little to no notice due to increased security issues or threats.

    West Bank – Reconsider Travel

    Reconsider travel due to terrorism and civil unrest.

    U.S. government employees in Israel under Chief of Mission security responsibility are currently restricted from all personal travel to the West Bank, except:

    • U.S. government employees can use Routes 1, 90, and 443 at any time. 
    • U.S. government employees are permitted personal travel to Jericho. 
    • U.S. government employees are permitted daylight travel to: Inn of the Good Samaritan, An-Nabi Musa, Wadi Qelt Nature Preserve, and St. George’s Monastery along Route 1; and Qumran, Kalia Beach, St. Gerasimos/Khogla Monastery, Al Auju, and Qasr al-Yaud baptismal site along Route 90. 

    Over the past few months, there has been an increase in settler violence, Israeli military operations, and terrorist attacks.

    Additional travel restrictions may be imposed on U.S. government employees under Chief of Mission security responsibility with little to no notice due to increased security issues or threats.

    Visit our website for Travel to High Risk Areas.