In response to the heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, the U.S. Department of State recently issued a European Travel Alert for U.S. citizens during the holiday season.
The Department of State notes that although local governments abroad continue counterterrorism operations, concern remains about the potential for future terrorist attacks. Extremists continue to focus on tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets and shopping malls, and local government facilities as viable targets, while restaurants, places of worship, parks, high-profile events, educational institutions, airports and other soft targets remain priority locations for possible attacks.
United States citizens should exercise vigilance and always be alert to the possibility that terrorist sympathizers or self-radicalized extremists may conduct attacks with little or no warning.
If your groups are traveling between countries in Europe, the Department of States advises checking the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate in your destination city for any recent security messages. Review security information from local officials, who are responsible for the safety and security of all visitors to their host country.
The Department of State notes travelers should:
- Follow the instructions of local authorities and monitor media and local information sources. Factor updated information into travel plans and activities.
- Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions.
- Stay in touch with family members and have emergency contact information on-hand.
- Have an emergency plan of action ready.
- Register in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, to receive security messages and make it easier to be located in an emergency.
The European Holiday Travel Alert expires on January 31, 2018. For additional information, visit travel.state.gov.
Courtesy of Groups Today.