Canada Raises “High Caution” Flags on Many Foreign Countries

Travel is great.  I couldn’t live without it and I have been doing it a long time. But never have I seen the number of “high risk” advisories being issued by the Canadian government for travel to foreign countries as today. Please pay attention to them: even to countries you previously thought perfectly safe. Access them on our website.

That is not to say you are likely to be assassinated as soon as you step out of the country. But dangers exist, to your life and property, and the government’s international reports are trying to keep up with them.

If you click on our Travel Reports and Warnings, you will see a country-by-country breakdown of safety categories provided by Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.  They are drawn from people on the ground in those countries so they are reliable.

The categories applied are: “Exercise Normal Security Precautions” (as in U.S., U.K., France, Germany); “Exercise High Degree of Caution” (as you now see in places like Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Fiji, Indonesia, China, Ecuador, Peru, Bulgaria, Greece, India, Belize and dozens of others.

Even a good part of the Caribbean is now under the “Exercise High Degree of Caution” flag: Antigua, Jamaica, St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Montserrat, Dominica.  These are all countries I have visited and felt perfectly safe in.  Now, there are reports of muggings, robberies, murders, and violence that almost requires you, when visiting resorts in those areas, to stay within your resort area or, if you leave it, go with a certified guide or taxi.

I am afraid the charming days of being able to walk a country road in Grenada are gone.

We don’t have to mention the countries under the “Avoid All Travel” flag.  Those are in the news every day: Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, much of Africa and the most of the Middle East.

But there are many countries that are now under the “Avoid all Non Essential” travel flag—such as Pakistan and Lebanon. And you must know that if you travel to or even transit a country about which your government has warned against travel, your travel insurance may be invalid.  It’s a clause that all travel insurance companies insert into their policies, so check out the points along your itinerary, and make sure you know your travel insurance, as well as your risk status.

If you are planning any travel to countries other than the U.S. or western Europe we strongly advise you to use the services of a travel insurance specialist, someone who knows the limitations of any policy you choose and can also explain the limitation on travel to foreign countries that might be on the “Avoid all Travel” list.  There are more of these countries than you think.

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