YOU ASK:

What are travel warnings and why are they being issued by my government?

WE ANSWER:

It is the government's responsibility to ensure the safety of their citizens, whether they are inside the country or traveling in another country. Often, travelers make plans to visit a country or an area without considering one's security and safety.

Travel warnings are statements issued by the government. It provides a list of countries that their citizens are advised not to go to. Various reasons are cited and are used as the bases for including a country in a travel warning. This includes the country's political situation, a temporary adverse weather condition, a problem with terroristic activities or a country that has hostile relations with your home country.

A travel warning will also include a country where there is a threat or a direct attack (such as a bombing) to your country's embassy or convoy located in that country. Other reasons when a travel warning is raised would also be because there are rampant abductions, kidnappings (particularly of Westerners) and assassinations, as well as suicide bombings and rocket bombing attacks.

Your government will exert all its efforts to ensure your well-being, but it will be harder for them to do that if you go to a place where the risks of being harmed are higher. There are times when a citizen is kidnapped, arrested or caught just because they were citizens of a particular country, or just because they happened to be handy hostages. That is why travel warnings are issued and you as a citizen should be aware of this.

These statements are regularly changed and updated to reflect current events. You still reserve the right to travel, but this will be at your own risk.

A travel warning does not necessarily mean that disaster and mayhem is sure to happen to you. If you take the necessary precautions and if you stay in areas, which are "safer", you can also decrease your risks.

However, it is important to know what your travel insurance policy has to say about countries included in the travel warning list. You may not be covered if you willfully went to a country that has already been added to the list.

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