The State Department told Americans not to travel abroad at all, the strongest U.S. alert yet as the novel coronavirus continued its steady march across the globe.
The department on Thursday issued a Level 4 advisory for travel abroad – “do not travel” – only four days after it issued a Level 3 advisory that urged Americans to “reconsider travel.”
“In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period,” the advisory said. “U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel.”
The advisory came as the number of cases have multiplied: More than 11,000 in the United States out of 236,000 worldwide. The global death toll also neared 10,000 on Thursday, including 157 in the United States.
The advisory is not a mandate; Americans can still leave the U.S.
But they do so at their own risk. Hundreds of Americans have been stranded overseas amid a global freeze on international travel and mass quarantines sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.
Besieged by pleas for help, the State Department and its embassies around the world have offered little to no assistance, these stranded travelers say.
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