- The University of California (UC) advises against non-essential travel to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) due to escalating security concerns.
- Essential travel requires a thorough evaluation, including reviews by the Department of State and UC’s travel security.
- The U.S. State Department has warned worldwide for U.S. citizens to exercise increased caution overseas.
In recent weeks, there has been an increase in security threats within the MENA region.
This includes anti-Israel and anti-United States protests and violent incidents in multiple countries.
According to a University of California report, considering the health and safety of UC students, faculty, and staff, the UC community is advised against all non-essential travel to the MENA region.
Guidelines for Essential Travel
If travel is deemed essential by a UC location, it needs to undergo an evaluation before departure.
The evaluation should encompass a review of the Department of State’s Travel Advisories for the specific destination.
Travel plans should be reviewed by the travel security or global risk management teams at the respective UC campus or the Office of the President.
Travelers should attend a pre-departure briefing available through UC’s travel security.
It’s important to register the travel details with the U.S. State Department’s STEP Program for real-time safety notifications.
Lastly, travels should be registered with the UC Travel Insurance Program.
State Department’s Caution to U.S. Citizens
The U.S. State Department has also issued a global caution due to increased tensions worldwide.
This warning stems from potential terrorist threats, demonstrations, or violent incidents against U.S. citizens and their interests.
U.S. citizens are advised to remain alert in tourist areas.
They should enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) for timely information and emergency alerts.
Staying updated through the Department of State’s social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, is also recommended.
Additional Safety Guidance
UC’s travel security provider, Crisis 24, has provided an Advice SheetPDF.
This document gives insights on reducing vulnerability during civil disturbances.
The situation will be under continuous observation, with an updated advisory to be issued as deemed necessary.
The report noted that Nathan Brostrom, Executive Vice President & CFO, and Kevin Confetti, Associate Vice President & Chief Risk Officer, have expressed their gratitude for the cooperation and commitment of the UC community toward safety.
What We Think
The safety of students, faculty, and staff is of paramount importance.
Travel advisories like this, based on real-time evaluations of global threats, are crucial in safeguarding the well-being of university communities. Everyone is urged to heed these warnings and act with caution.
Stay updated and keep others informed — fact check all the information prior to sharing them.
Learn more in the entire University of California report.