Risk and Safety Updates

Global Risk and Safety will send a message to the IOC mailing list any time a Safety Update is posted, as well as when there are updates to the Restricted Regions list. This mailing list is a resource for university travelers and travel planners for faculty, staff, and students.

We welcome you to sign up for our listserv or contact us at IOC@austin.utexas.edu


February 20

As mentioned in the Safety Update published on January 9, 2018, the U.S. State Department has replaced Travel Warnings and Alerts with a color-coded, numerical rating system of Travel Advisories for every country. All countries have a U.S. State Department Travel Advisory with an overall rating between 1-4.

February 12


‘Day Zero’ sounds like something from a dooms day movie, but unfortunately it’s being used as the term for the day Cape Town and surrounding areas run out of water. Cape Town is projected to be the first major city to run out of water. “After three years of unprecedented drought, the city of Cape Town has less than 90 days’ worth of water in its reservoirs.” (TIME

February 5


The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games will take place in South Korea from 09 – 25 February and 09 – 18 March, respectively. Those traveling to South Korea during this times should anticipate amplified security measures and related disruption, particularly in Gangneung and PyeongChang (both in the Gangwon province). 

January 9


The U.S. Department of State will soon be replacing Travel Warnings and Alerts with a color-coded, numerical rating system of Travel Advisories for every country. The tentative start date for these changes is Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

December 6

On 06 December 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump announced the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He also announced plans to relocate the US Embassy there, a move expected to inflame tensions in the region and unsettle the prospects for peace. The State Department has been ordered to begin preparations to move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but it is reported the embassy will remain in Tel Aviv for the time being as it is estimated it will take years before a new embassy can open in Jerusalem.

November 27

Individuals traveling in Western Europe from 27 November 2017 to 02 January 2018 should expect heightened security, particularly at large public gatherings. It is important to exercise heightened vigilance due to continued threats by extremist groups. Transport hubs, crowded entertainment venues, including shopping malls and Christmas markets, and religious sites can be "attractive targets" to individuals or groups wanting to cause panic and harm.

November 13

U.S. nationals planning travel to Cuba should reconfirm their itineraries and consult government guidelines following the implementation of further restrictions by the U.S. government on 09 November 2017. These measures, originally announced in June as part of a memorandum by the U.S. president, largely restrict allowances for personal travel and commerce opened up under the former Administration.