U.S. travelers — at least the most cautious — can consult the U.S. State Department’s travel advisories.
The agency monitors potential issues around the world and issues warnings to visitors from “Standard Alert Level 1” to “Level 4: Do Not Travel” for the threat of terrorism, war, domestic law enforcement and high-level crime. and other personal safety issues.
But have you ever wondered how other governments warn their citizens about coming to America? What is the name of America?
After all, gun deaths are on the rise in the United States. And mass shootings in the U.S. — 617 as of 1 p.m. Nov. 29, according to the Gun Violence Index — are becoming more frequent and grabbing headlines around the world.
CNN Travel found out that the governments of America’s closest neighbors and allies are recommending their citizens to come here. Not exactly a flattering image.
Because America is an active war zone, visitors are not given full warning. Each country has its own approach, but the general theme is the same: the United States is more aggressive than you are used to. Learn how to do things there that you don’t need to do at home.
Another thing to remember is that violent crimes rarely attract tourists.
Learn more about the nine countries that account for a significant portion of US international travel traffic:
In 1996, 35 people were killed in a shooting in Port Arthur, Tasmania. In the aftermath of the massacres, Australia enacted strict gun control laws, including “a de facto ban on fully automatic or semi-automatic firearms,” according to Britannica Online Encyclopedia.
So for over 25 years, Australians have lived in a different gun culture than Americans.
The Australian government warns its citizens planning to travel to the United States: “Violent crime is more common than in Australia and gun crime is everywhere. Follow local rules and regulations. If you live in the US, learn about active shooter drills.
On the SmartTraveller website, the Australian government reminds travelers that “US citizens are legally permitted to carry firearms.”
“The US has more violent crime than Australia, but the incidents are rarely related to tourists,” he said. It does not issue advice on specific events “unless there is a significant risk to Australians”.
However, it does not warn its citizens against traveling to the United States. As of November 25, it recommended “usual U.S. security measures.”
The Ambassador Bridge spans the Detroit River from Windsor, Ontario to Detroit, Michigan. Land transport between the two North American neighbors has resumed after the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions. So what does Canada think about mass shootings in the US? – Tara Walton/Washington Post/Getty Images
Canada advises its citizens to “take the usual precautions” when traveling to the US.
The Canadian government is warning its citizens not to cross the US-Mexico border, citing “criminal drug-trafficking activity.” It states that citizens should avoid crossing the border at night.
He warns of gang attacks and organized crime in major cities, saying violent crime “doesn’t happen often to tourists”, but warns travelers to be aware of their surroundings and avoid threats from thieves.
It reminds Canadians of the frequent mass shootings in the US. “There are mass shootings, there are often victims. Although tourists rarely participate, there is a risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Britain is reminding potential visitors from the US that “mass shootings can happen, but the death rate is very low”.
He also warned citizens: “Violent crimes, including those involving firearms, rarely attract tourists, but caution should be exercised when traveling to unfamiliar places.” Avoid walking alone in less frequented areas, especially at night.
Like Canada, Britain is on high alert at the US-Mexico border.
In an advice column, Britain warns its citizens against inappropriate jokes: “Don’t make vague comments about bombs or terrorism, especially when traveling through US airports.”
Lauren Redfern, a 31-year-old Londoner with a PhD in medical anthropology, has made several trips to the US in 2018 (Chicago – New Orleans) and 2022 (Los Angeles).
He told CNN Travel that at the beginning of his trip in 2018, he knew there had been a mass shooting in the United States, but he felt he was far from it. “I don’t think I would have done anything different than what I did in the UK back then.”
But while staying at an Airbnb hotel in New Orleans, she was doing laundry in a common area when a man opened the door and shot her with a shotgun.
There were no shots, but he said: “It was a really amazing out-of-body experience that made me think and appreciate and say, ‘Oh, this is so real’ on a level I’ve never known or experienced. . You know, in England.”
“This experience has definitely changed my sense of personal safety when traveling to the United States,” Redfern said.
That didn’t stop him from visiting the US again, but it “changed my perspective on American culture.” When she is in America, she goes out on her own less often than in London, which she is not ashamed of.
Israel is a safe state with a special relationship with the United States of America.
It warns on a scale of 01 to 04, with the latter corresponding to the highest threat level. Israel’s travel warning focuses on terrorism against its citizens abroad as well as general criminal threats.
For example, people have been warned to stay away from the 04-rated North African country of Algeria because of terrorist groups and “hatred of Israel on the streets of Algeria”.
However, despite the rise in anti-Semitic incidents, the US has been rated 01 (“ordinary precautions”).
The French Foreign Ministry has a different opinion.
Overall, he says, “the United States is one of the safest countries,” but warns the French about an increase in car theft in some cities.
It is interesting that the department lists potential threats to specific areas. Some examples:
• “Avoid traveling alone, on foot and at night in certain areas of Dorchester, Mattapan and Roxbury” in Boston.
• In Atlanta, French visitors are encouraged to “be active in isolated areas of the city (downtown) after the offices close and use taxis at night.”
German airline Lufthansa flies a lot of people in the US and Europe. – Courtesy of AirlingRatings.com
Germany, another US ally with strong tourism ties, has strict gun laws and far fewer gun homicides than the US.
The Foreign Office warned German citizens that “weapons are readily available in the United States, leading to an increase in the use of weapons and accidental killings.” During the Covid-19 crisis, the procurement of weapons and ammunition increased significantly.
It also warns visitors to the United States of the potential for domestic violence linked to racism and police brutality, and advises them to “avoid aggressive crowds.”
The State Department’s travel advisories for Americans are a useful resource for determining the safest areas to visit in Mexico.
Mexicans doubt visiting their northern neighbors. (For example, a visiting Mexican family was among those killed in the 4th of July mass shooting at a rally in Highland Park, Illinois.)
When this story was published in late November 2022, the Mexican government had not set up a US travel warning page. However, in May 2021, the CNN Library research team found a US travel advice website.
In particular, he cited the 2019 mass shooting at a Wal-Mart store in El Paso, Texas, saying “historical racial and ethnic tensions, including violent extremist groups linked to immigration, led to the attacks.” . 20 people died.
The government advised its citizens to avoid crowds in the United States and that travelers carry a copy of their Mexican passport and photo ID at all times.
A Japan Airlines passenger plane takes off from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. The Japanese government provides clear instructions on what to do if its citizens are involved in an active shooter incident in the United States. – Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images
Despite the shocking assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in July, Japan’s homicide rate is much lower than that of the United States.
It is therefore not surprising that the government warns that “it is important to be aware that the security situation between the United States and Japan is very different and to understand which regions are more at risk for victims of crime.”
It says “gun crime is one of the biggest safety concerns in the United States” and offers several tips for getting out or hiding, including:
• Look for safe exits in new places and plan your escape.
• Run whether others agree or not.
• Hide in a room and block the door with heavy furniture.
• Mute mobile phones.
If a Japanese tourist can’t run or hide, “throw things at the criminal, use them as weapons, scream, use all your strength.”
Since November 25, the neighboring Australian island has declared a high level of danger (level 2 out of 4) in relation to the United States “due to the threat of terrorism.”
The New Zealand SafeTravel website continues to warn its citizens that “violent crime and gun ownership are higher than in New Zealand. Many states allow US citizens to legally carry firearms. However, crime rates vary greatly between cities and suburbs, and incidents rarely involve tourists.
People visiting the United States are encouraged to research destinations and consult with local residents before traveling.
SAFETRAVEL guides New Zealanders through a proactive action brochure issued by the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
Main photo: American flags around the Washington Monument are at half-mast after the shooting at an elementary school in Uwald, Texas. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
CNN’s Haley Wilson provided research for this article.
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