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U.S. State Department announces new travel advisory system

By Sam Howard
U.S. State Department announces new travel advisory system
A Delta Airlines plane takes off from LaGuardia Airport in New York City on August 8, 2016 in New York City. Delta began to resume flights but still expect massive cancelations and delays after after a computer glitch shut down the airline completely this morning. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 8 (UPI) -- State Department officials announced Friday they've overhauled how the agency issues travel advisories for Americans abroad.

The new four-tiered system will officially roll out next month, Assistant Secretary of State Carl Risch told reporters Friday in Washington, D.C. A level one advisory means "exercise normal precautions," level two means "exercise increased caution," level three means "reconsider travel" and level four is "do not travel."

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The department's current system uses a variety of alerts and warnings depending on the region of the world.

Risch cautioned that the level four warning would merely be an advisory warning, not an explicit ban on travel.

The State Department is still determining which nations would fall under the different classifications and Risch said some nations could have multiple warning levels on regional bases.

Department officials will determine the ratings based on criteria that may include "terrorism, civil unrest, health considerations, natural disaster ... elections, sporting events, [and] other incidents that may pose safety risks," Risch said.

"It's driven by our commitment to making sure that Americans who are traveling overseas are informed travelers and have access to up-to-date information," Risch said.

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