Restricted Regions Travel Policy amid Consular Messaging Changes

January 9, 2018, 12:00 pm


The U.S. Department of State will soon be replacing Travel Warnings and Alerts with a color-coded, numerical rating system of Travel Advisories for every country. The tentative start date for these changes is Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Once effective, the Department of State will issue all countries a Travel Advisory with an overall rating between 1-4, currently described as: 1 = Exercise Normal Precautions; 2 = Exercise Increased Caution; 3 = Reconsider Travel; and 4 = Do Not Travel. Travel Advisory levels 2-4 will have clearly articulated risk factors such as: crime, terrorism, civil unrest, natural disaster, health, and time-related events (e.g., elections or demonstrations). Certain areas within a country may also be assigned nuanced risk levels if the risks in that location do not align with the country’s overall rating. Additionally, U.S. Embassy announcements such as Emergency and Security Messages will be replaced by Alerts with one-word descriptors, such as “Alert: Hurricane” or “Alert: Demonstration.” For more information, please see Department of State Consular Messaging Changes and the U.S. Department of State website

These changes will affect both the UT-Austin Restricted Regions Travel Policy and the recently released UTS 190 International Travel Policy

As mentioned in the memorandum, Interim Guidance for UT Austin Restricted Regions Policy, issued by the International Oversight Committee, all 

countries and associated risk levels on UT Austin’s Restricted Regions list as of 23:59 on January 9, 2018 will remain in effect until the Department of State’s new system can be adequately evaluated and the Restricted Regions policy can be formally updated accordingly.

Any changes made to the Restricted Regions list will be communicated through the IOC listserv.