United States Issues Travel Advisory For Spain Amid Threats Of Terrorism
By Sharelle Burt
The United States has issued a new travel advisory for those traveling into Spain after threats of terrorism continue to come in.
The State Department has a four-level color code system to predict the severity of the situation, placing Spain in ‘yellow’ or level 2, meaning ‘exercise increased caution.’ The advisory states ‘terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.’
Spain isn’t the only European country with eyes on them. Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherland, and the United Kingdom also have advisories placed on them. Countries with a Level 1 or “exercise normal precautions” include Austria, Croatia, Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Regardless of the threats, the State Department has assured travelers that “Spain has taken robust actions to guard against terrorist attacks, including arrests of suspected extremists allegedly involved in terrorist plots.”
Spain has been the target of terrorist groups in the past two decades. Back in 2004, a series of coordinated bombs set the country on high alert, the largest being one that blew up a commuter train, killing 193 and leaving more than 2,000 injured. A terrorist in the capital city of Barcelona drove through the streets of Las Ramblas, killing 15 pedestrians.
There are some things the State Department want travelers to do while visiting. The first thing is always to be aware of your surroundings, especially when visiting tourist locations and crowded venues. Be sure to follow instructions of local authorities and to check local media outlets in case you need to adjust your plans. They also recommend sharing your itinerary and passport information with loved ones. The last thing you’d want is for your friends and family not to know where you are if they need to contact the local US diplomatic reps or the State Department.