US state department announces travel alert for Europe


Leaf Staff

TRAVEL. Europe has received travel alerts twice in 2016 due to large events and the holiday season attracting lots of visitors from all over the world. Students from Spanish classes and AP European History traveled to Europe recently over spring break. SHS Staff took the proper precautions to ensure safety of students at all times.

Terror attacks in France, Russia, Sweden, and Great Britain since the beginning of 2017 convinced the U.S. to institute a travel alert for U.S. citizens traveling to Europe.

“While we were [in Europe] for the [AP Euro] trip, I felt safe, and it was not on my mind. However, if there are threats, then it is really good that they are being cautious by trying to alert people and keep people safe,” said Kyra Fales, 10.

Although a travel warning seems similar to a travel alert, they are completely different. Travel warnings are instituted in circumstances such as a civil war or political instability and last for a longer period of time.

“We took the opportunity, because it’s the beginning of summer, to make our concerns known,” said a spokesman for the State Department.

The alert is effective May 1 and expires September 1. It warns citizens to be aware of their surroundings, especially at “tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities.”

“While local governments continue counter terrorism operations, the Department nevertheless remains concerned about the potential for future terrorist attacks. U.S. citizens should always be alert to the possibility that terrorist sympathizers or self-radicalized extremists may conduct attacks with little or no warning,” said the alert.

The previous travel alert put on Europe in the summer of 2016 was issued to warn people about sites of major events such as the Euro Cup in France and World Youth Day in Poland as potential targets. Fortunately, both events occurred safely.