Citing recent terror attacks, the United States Department of State has issued a travel alert for the European continent. The State Department specifically states that “widely-reported incidents in France, Russia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom demonstrate that the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS or Da’esh), al-Qa’ida, and their affiliates have the ability to plan and execute terrorist attacks in Europe.”
The travel alert warns U.S. citizens to exercise caution in commonly targeted areas such as tourist locations, transport hubs, shopping centers and local government buildings. Travelers should also be vigilant when visiting soft targets, including hotels, clubs, places of worship, high-profile events and airports. Visitors should be especially careful during the upcoming summer travel season, which normally draws large crowds in tourist areas.
The State Department has provided five tips for U.S. citizens who will be traveling in Europe this summer:
1. Be aware of local media updates and follow the instructions of local authorities. Incorporate any updates into your travel plans.
2. Be prepared for additional security screenings or disruptions at airports and other transport hubs. Plan ahead so you don’t miss air or rail connections.
3. Stay in close contact with family and friends. Provide them with contact information to use in case of an emergency.
4. Create a plan of action and be ready to implement it if there is an emergency.
5. Register for the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, a free service which allows U.S. citizens and nationals to register their trip information with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. This allows the Embassy to provide news updates and assistance, as well as facilitate communication between travelers and their loved ones in the case of an emergency.
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