United States - Maldives

United States reviews travel advisory to Maldives

  • The advisory cautions US citizens to exercise increased caution when traveling to Maldives "due to terrorism"

Aishath Shaany
Shaaknee

K. Male' 2019 May 02 | Thu 22:49 7,924 local

US Ambassador to Maldives, Alaina Teplitz with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih - Presidents Office

While the US State Department has reviewed its travel advisory to Maldives, its first version contained some factual errors.

US Ambassador to Maldives, Alaina Teplitz confirmed that the State Department’s recent travel advisory to Maldives was posted “inadvertently,” adding that it was an “older version.”

The Level 2 advisory was issued on Thursday, telling travelers to exercise increased caution when traveling to the archipelago nation, “due to terrorism and civil unrest.

It further reads that “terrorist groups may conduct attacks with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities. Attacks may occur on remote islands which could lengthen the response time of authorities.”

It also claimed that “a country-wide state of emergency is in effect.” While this is false, Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid stated that the embassy had informed that the advisory “contains factual errors.”

Further noting that the embassy takes responsibility for their mistake, Shahid said that it is “working to fix [the issues] as quickly as they can.”

While the US embassy in Colombo later tweeted that the advisory level “remains unchanged,” an updated version cautions travelers to exercise caution “due to terrorism.” The updated version does not mention a state of emergency; the last time a state of emergency was declared was in February 2018, following a controversial supreme court order releasing a number of political detainees.

“We remain in close coordination with the Maldives government on issues affecting US citizens,” it added, noting that the State Department “routinely reviews travel advisories.”

It further noted that the State Department "routinely reviews travel advisories."

The department has four ‘travel advisory levels’: the first level advises travelers to exercise normal precautions, the second to exercise increased caution, third to reconsider travel, and the fourth and final which states ‘Do not travel’.

The travel advisory comes a little over a week after the Sri Lankan terror attack, which was issued a Level 3 advisory last week.

Last updated at: 3 days ago | Reviewed by: Ali Yoosuf

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