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The State Department is expected to advise Americans to refrain to travel abroad

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The State Department is expected to advise Americans to refrain to travel abroad by Kenyans247(1): Thu 19, March, 2020 10:52pm
The State Department is preparing to announce that American citizens abroad should either return home or stay in place as the new coronavirus pandemic grows, American officials said.

The department plans to raise to level four its global travel advisory. Officials did not give an exact time on when this would happen, but said it is imminent. Level four is the top-tier warning, usually reserved for nations with war zones or beset by serious disruptions.

The global advisory is now at level three. The announcement would be a recommendation, not a requirement. Millions of Americans are still overseas, and many would likely choose to remain in place.
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Some tourists or American citizens without long-term living arrangements or support networks abroad have been trying to get back to the United States, but have found that difficult because of border closings or the cutting of flight routes and other transportation shutdowns.

President Trump, asked during a briefing on Thursday about Americans stranded abroad and trying to re-enter the United States, said that the administration is working with the military to get them home.

The State Department used five charter flights sent from the United States to evacuate American citizens from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak, but has no plans at the moment to run similar evacuation flights elsewhere. American diplomats who have returned to the United States from countries where large outbreaks have occurred have done so mostly on commercial flights.

Politico first reported the State Department’s plans on Thursday.

Some other countries have already issued travel advisories telling their citizens to return home or not go abroad. Canada did so last Friday, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in a 14-day period of self-quarantine because his wife, Sophie Trudeau, had tested positive for the new coronavirus. Canada and many other countries have also closed borders to nonessential traffic in an effort to limit the spread of the virus.

State Department representatives did not answer a request for comment on the travel advisory plans.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military is halting deployments into Iraq for at least the next 14 days, military officials said Thursday. The move follows similar initiatives in Afghanistan as the Pentagon wrestles with the spread of the coronavirus.

The change comes at a time when U.S. troops in Iraq are contending with a recent spate of rocket attacks launched by Iranian-linked militias, and as the U.S.-led coalition in the country closes several smaller bases throughout the country.

The decision means some of the more than 5,000 U.S. troops currently in Iraq will have to stay longer than expected.

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RE: The State Department is expected to advise Americans to refrain to travel abroad by Kenyans247(1): Thu Mar 2020 10:17pm
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