State Dept Travel Advisory - Level 3

Venezuela’s Level 3 Travel Advisory Reaffirmed by US State Department

Level 3 Travel Alerts for Venezuela issued by the State Department and the CDC

venezuela village men playing drums

The US State Department has reissued its Level 3 Travel Advisory, Reconsider Travel for the South American country of Venezuela, effective January 16, 2019. 

The State Department said ‘Americans should reconsider travel to Venezuela due to crime, civil unrest, poor health infrastructure, and arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens. 

In the capital city of Caracas, which is located in the north of Venezuela, and with a population over 2 million residents, the U.S. government said it has limited ability to provide emergency services in certain neighborhoods as government personnel and their families are subject to travel restrictions for their safety and well-being. 

Outside of Caracas, the U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens, and government employees must obtain special authorization to travel outside of Caracas.

And, the U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens within 50 miles of the Colombian border as drug traffickers and armed groups are active in the Colombian border states of Zulia, Tachira, and Apure.   

Cross-border crime occurs frequently in these areas. 

The State Department says if you decide to travel to Venezuela:

  • Do not travel between cities after dark.
  • Avoid travel between Simón Bolívar International Airport and Caracas at night.
  • Do not take unregulated taxis from Simón Bolívar International Airport and avoid ATMs in this area.
  • Avoid demonstrations.
  • Bring a sufficient supply of over-the-counter and prescription medicines.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations, such as this Traveler’s Checklist.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.

Sponsored Links:

Previously, during August 2018, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued Level 3 Travel Alerts for Venezuela, which means USA citizens should avoid visiting Venezuela. 

This CDC alert says Venezuela is experiencing outbreaks of infectious diseases, and adequate health care is currently not available in most of the country. 

These Travel Alerts said: 

  • An ongoing measles outbreak
  • The Zika virus continues as a risk in Venezuela. And, since a Zika infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects, pregnant women should not travel to Venezuela. And, partners of pregnant women and couples planning pregnancy take preventive steps 
  • In the past 2 years, over 1,600 suspected cases of diphtheria, including over 140 deaths, have been reported in 22 states.
  • In 2017, over 400,000 cases of malaria were reported.
  • And, there are various yellow fever virus hot-spots in Venezuela.

If you must travel to Venezuela, make an appointment with a travel vaccine specialist at least 4 to 6 weeks before you leave, which can be scheduled at this link. 

The CDC recommends all travelers to Venezuela be up to date on all recommended vaccines, such as the Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP) and Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine.

And, the CDC recommends all travelers take prescribed medicine to prevent malaria.