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United States Eases Travel Advisory for Australia



The U.S. has downgraded its recent travel advisory for Australia amid raging wildfires that have led to poor air quality in some regions.

According to Sky News, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison implored “people very close” to U.S. President Donald Trump to revise the Level 2 advisory, which encouraged Americans to consider postponing their travel plans to “areas where air quality is significantly affected by bushfire conditions.”

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As of Monday, Australia is at a Level 1 (exercise normal precautions) on the U.S. State Department’s travel advisory scale. However, the U.S. government is still advising Americans to exercise increased caution in areas affected by bushfires and air quality issues, including the Australian Capital Territory, Central Tablelands of New South Wales and Southeastern Victoria.

The January 13 update reminds visitors that local authorities may issue evacuation orders to certain areas and to monitor local news media outlets for updates on affected areas.

“Visitors should exercise increased caution when considering travel to areas affected by bushfires until the risks posed by bushfires, and resulting in poor air quality, have passed,” says the State Department. “Smoke from bushfires is causing poor air quality, which can increase health risks for travelers with related health conditions. Check the air quality for your destinations and take precautions as needed.”

Travelers impacted in Australia should dial 000 for immediate assistance from the police and other emergency services. Meanwhile, Americans traveling abroad are also encouraged to sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service that allows U.S. citizens to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate and receive important updates about the safety conditions in their destination.

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Americans Are Facing Never-Before-Seen Interstate Travel Restrictions



Acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Chad Wolf recently indicated that the White House had no plans to stop the flow of domestic travel within the United States in response to the COVID-19 health crisis, but that hasn’t stopped regional governments from creating their own injunctions in an effort to insulate their populations from the epidemic.

This weekend, on March 29, President Trump announced that nationwide social-distancing guidelines will remain in effect through at least April 30.

Now, facing at least another month of COVID-19’s accelerating spread across the country, an increasing number of states are implementing their own measures to restrict the movement of domestic travelers.

Of course, some affected areas have already issued stay-at-home orders for residents, effectively locking down their communities with the exception of essential services. As every level of government struggles to slow the virus’ rate of transmission, the weight of these restrictions now constitutes nearly unprecedented limitations being placed upon U.S. citizens’ freedom of movement.

Fox News suggested that, while governors cannot legally prevent U.S. residents from crossing state lines, mandatory two-week quarantines should certainly serve to discourage folks from planning a visit.

And, as the Rhode Island National Guard and police recently did on behalf of the state health department, officers might even go door-to-door ensuring that self-isolation orders are being followed.

Rhode Island was among the first states to actively begin monitoring out-of-state arrivals and enforcing self-isolation restrictions.

Initially, a March 26 executive order issued by Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo singled out folks arriving from New York—which, both statewide and in its urban center of New York City, is battling the greatest volume of COVID-19 cases that’s concentrated anywhere in the U.S.

Two days later, the order was expanded to include persons coming from all other areas of the U.S., proclaiming that, “Any person coming to Rhode Island from another state for a non-work-related purpose must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days.” The restriction explicitly exempts public health, public safety or healthcare workers arriving to aid the sick.

CNN compiled a list of states that have placed restrictions on interstate travelers, some of which have also issued stay-at-home orders to residents. Travelers who are planning to visit any of the following should visit the state’s official website to research the parameters of their travel restrictions:









—North Dakota


—Rhode Island

—South Carolina



—West Virginia

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