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Updated AB 1887 Restricted States for State Funded Travel

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding AB 1887 Requirements • Does AB 1887 prohibit all travel to states on the Attorney General’s list? No. AB 1887 prohibits the use of state funds to pay for travel to a state on the Attorney General’s list, except where one of the statutory exceptions applies. It does not affect travel that is paid for or reimbursed using non-state funds. • What are the states that the California Attorney General Identified as Subject to the Travel Prohibition? The Attorney General lists the states impacted by this legislation on their website, whose office is responsible for updates as necessary: https://oag.ca.gov/ab1887 These states were on the initial list posted when the law was published: • Kansas • Mississippi • North Carolina • Tennessee On June 23, 2017 the Attorney General published four additional states to the list: • Alabama • Kentucky • South Dakota • Texas On June 1, 2018 the Attorney General published an additional state to the list: • Oklahoma On April 15, 2019, the Attorney General published an addition to the list: • South Carolina On October 4, 2019 the Attorney General published an additional state to the list: • Iowa On July 1, 2020 the Attorney General published an additional state to the list: • Idaho

On June 28, 2021, the Attorney General published 5 additional states to the list: • Florida (added to California’s travel restrictions list on July 1, 2021) • Montana (added to California’s travel restrictions list on July 1, 2021) • West Virginia (added to California’s travel restrictions list on July 8, 2021) • Arkansas (added to California’s travel restrictions list on July 29, 2021) • North Dakota (added to California’s travel restrictions list on August 1, 2021) On September 30, 2021 the Attorney General published an additional state to the list: • Ohio The Attorney General announced that the following additional states will be added to the list on the following dates (based on the effective dates of the underlying laws that prompted the addition of each state to the list): • Utah (added to California’s travel restrictions list on July 1, 2022) • Indiana (added to California’s travel restrictions list on July 1, 2022) • Louisiana (will be added to California’s travel restrictions list on August 1, 2022) • Arizona (will be added to California’s travel restrictions list on September 28, 2022) • How are “state funds” defined? “State funds” include funds in the following fund group codes: • 401 – General Funds (fund numbers 199XX, excluding UCGF) • 40411 – State Specific Funds (fund numbers 18000-18069) • 41412 – State Special Funds (fund numbers 18070-18199) • 40421 – State Contracts, Grants, and Cooperative Agreements (fund numbers designated by campus) • 1003 – Plant Funds State Appropriations (fund numbers 00800-00999) Campuses should consult with their respective budget offices to determine the funds that fall within the fund groups mentioned above. Approximately 45% of the Systemwide Assessment Fund (Fund 69085) is from state funds. Therefore, fund 69085 may be used to reimburse otherwise allowed travel to one of these states as long as the total expenditures for a department’s travel to any of these states do not exceed 55% of the department’s total 69085 fund allocation.

What does it mean for travel to be “state funded”? The statute does not define the term “state funded.” OGC has interpreted the restriction on the use of state funds to apply to direct expenditures for travel-related costs (e.g., hotel and transportation) but not to the salaries or time spent by employees who travel to one of the identified states. • What are the exceptions where state-funded travel will be allowed to states on the Attorney General’s list? The law does not apply to travel that is required for any of the following purposes: 1) Enforcement of California law, including auditing and revenue collection. 2) Litigation. 3) To meet contractual obligations incurred before January 1, 2017. 4) To comply with requests by the federal government to appear before committees. 5) To participate in meetings or training required by a grant or required to maintain grant funding. 6) To complete job-required training necessary to maintain licensure or similar standards required for holding a position, in the event that comparable training cannot be obtained in California or a different state not affected by subdivision (b). 7) For the protection of public health, welfare, or safety, as determined by the affected agency, department, board, authority, or commission, or by the affected legislative office. • What if an athletic team has committed to participate in a bowl game or other competition in an affected state? If a contract to participate in an event was entered into before January 1, 2017, then it would be permissible to use state funds to travel to participate in a bowl game or other type of sporting competition. If the contract was entered into on or after January 1, 2017, then state funds should not be used for the travel. • Does the law prohibit travel to an affected state for research purposes? If the travel is necessary to participate in meetings or training required by a grant, or required to maintain grant funding, then reimbursement with state funds is permitted. Otherwise, non-state funds should be used to pay for or reimburse the travel expenses. • Does the law prohibit admissions or athletics recruiters from traveling to states on the Attorney General’s list? No. Non-state funds should be used to pay for the travel expenses. • Does UC have a responsibility to continue to monitor the Attorney General’s website for additional states that are added to the list of those where state-funded travel is prohibited? Yes. UC has the responsibility to consult the list on the Attorney General’s website in order to comply with the travel and funding restrictions imposed by the law. However, UC has no obligation

to make a determination about whether a state that is not included on the Attorney General list should be. • How is travel that is reimbursed after it occurred handled under this new law? If travel occurring after January 1, 2017 does not meet one of the exceptions noted above, then it should not be reimbursed with state funds. • May state funds be used for reimbursement of travel to contractors? Yes. But not for travel expenses to or within the prohibited state if such travel reimbursement is not covered in a contract entered into prior to January 1, 2017. Reimbursement for travel from the prohibited state may be reimbursed in all instances. Travel from a prohibited state, including the return flight back, shall be construed as travel “to” the original destination. • May state funds be used for reimbursement of travel to recruits regarding faculty and staff appointments? Yes, as long as the travel expenses were not incurred for travel to and within the prohibited state. Reimbursement for travel from the prohibited state may be reimbursed in all instances. Travel from a prohibited state, including the return flight back, shall be construed as travel “to” the original destination. • Can an employee be required to travel to one of the prohibited states on the AG list? No. California Government Code Section 11139.8(b)(1) prohibits UC from requiring any employee to travel to one of the states on the AG’s list (absent applicability of one of the statutory exceptions listed in Government Code Section 11139.8(c) {see FAQ # 5 above}.

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Friday, March 12, 2021

A letter from Rachael Nava, UC's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, to the university community.

Although the United States has recently experienced a decrease in new COVID-19 cases and positivity rates, and an increase in the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccination, COVID-19 continues to present a global health risk that must be taken seriously.

The Office of the President has issued several directives regarding travel over the past year that restricted non-essential, University-related travel. The last directive , issued August 6, 2020, restricted non-essential travel to CDC Level 2 and 3 countries.

Since the August 2020 directive, the CDC has updated their Travel Health Notice system to 4 Tiers (Very High, High, Moderate and Low) and they are working closely with the U.S. Department of State (DOS) to ensure the DOS Travel Advisories align with the CDC 4 Tier System.

The Office of the President is rescinding the prior travel directives and directs that all University travelers follow the CDC Guidance  before, during and upon return from travel.

Any exceptions to CDC Guidance and the determination of what travel is considered as essential travel are deferred to the campus and medical center locations. Additionally, all international travelers should review the DOS Travel Advisories related to their destination(s) prior to making travel plans and ensure that their travel is registered with the UC Travel Insurance Program .

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State-funded travel restrictions update

uc no travel list

Editor’s note: The list of states was updated on July 19, after Link was published. The bolded states reflect new states added. We have updated this article to avoid confusion.

On September 27, 2016, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill No. 1887 (AB1887). The travel restriction prohibits state-funded travel to states that have passed a law after June 26, 2015, that:

  • Has the effect of repealing existing state or local protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression; or
  • Authorizes or requires such discrimination.

The following states are currently subject to California’s ban on state-funded and state-sponsored travel:

  • Arizona – Effective 9/28/22
  • Louisiana – Effective 8/1/22
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • West Virginia

How are “state funds” defined?

State funds have been identified by the systemwide budget office as encompassing all State General Funds and State Special Fund appropriations to a campus, e.g. D9900. If you are unsure, check with your designated budget coordinator.

What does it mean for travel to be “state-funded”?

The statute does not define the term “state-funded.” UC Legal has interpreted the restriction on the use of state funds to apply to direct expenditures for travel-related costs (e.g. hotel and transportation), but not the salaries or time spent by employees who travel to one of the identified states.

If an outside entity is funding (reimbursing UC) the travel to one of the prohibited states, is it permissible to reimburse the traveler using these funds?

  • Assuming the outside entity (third party) is not a California state entity, then:
  • The third party itself wouldn’t have any burden of complying with AB 1887; and
  • The third party can pay for the travel directly or give UC the money for UC’s use in reimbursing the employee for travel expenses.

The travel restriction went into effect Jan. 1, 2017. For more information, please refer to the California Attorney General website or BRC Travel & Entertainment.

Have a question about this announcement? Contact the Business Resource Center

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Restrictions on UC Travel to Certain States Lifted

A version of this message was sent Oct. 5 to campus staff who work directly with financial matters. This version was published Dec. 4 in Monday Memo.

California no longer restricts government-funded travel to states that had enacted anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. The change, cited by UCOP , applies to university-related travel at UC Merced.

A legislative bill rescinding the seven-year-old restrictions was signed by Gov. Newsom in September. An announcement from Newsom’s office said the legislation also creates a public awareness project that will consult with community leaders to promote California’s values of acceptance and inclusion. The bill's sponsor, state Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins, has referred to it as the Bridge Project .

Questions? Please reach out to [email protected] .

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Travel Restrictions

UC International has restrictions on travel for minor student travelers and students traveling to countries over the US Department of State Level 2.

Country Restrictions

The US Department of State has a  Travel Advisory system  which gives each country an overall rating from  1 to 4. And while the US Department of State may issue an overall Travel Advisory level for a country, levels of advice may vary for specific locations or areas within a country.

Travel Advisories at Levels 2 - 4 contain clear reasons for the level assigned, using established risk indicators and specific advice to U.S. citizens who choose to travel there. 

UC has updated the  Student Travel Policy  to clearly define the guidelines and expectations that students, faculty and staff must follow while on university-sanctioned or funded travel.

Travel exemptions

It is not recommended that UC students travel to Level 3 locations due to serious security and safety risks. UC students wishing to travel to these locations can submit an exemption by appeal to the International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC) with a serious understanding of the risks and a plan to mitigate those risks abroad. 

  • ITOC approvals for undergraduate travel to Level 3 destinations will be made with caution and in rare occasions. This includes non-credit experiences for undergraduate students and study abroad or co-op (when an alternate location is available that does not present significant risk).
  • ITOC is open to considering graduate student (including medical, law and PhD students) travel to a Level 3 location when it involves unique research or presentation opportunities when vetted and endorsed by the home college (and IRB approval, if appropriate).
  • UC faculty-led study abroad programs will be considered on a case by case basis.   The faculty leaders will be required to demonstrate a mitigation of safety concerns and the lack of alternative location to ITOC. Such experiences require the support by the home College.

The travel exemption form is designed to be printed out, signed by multiple people, scanned and returned. If you have accessibility concerns, please contact our office for assistance.

Travel and Re-entry to the U.S. While on OPT

Can i travel while on opt.

uc no travel list

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Useful Employment and Career Links

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Please note :  The information provided in this post was accurate and up-to-date at the time of posting. Due to the dynamic nature of immigration policy, it is possible that the information or links provided may have changed over time. Users are advised to verify the accuracy and relevance of the content.

Traveling while on OPT or OPT STEM Extension

In general, an F-1 student on post-completion OPT or STEM OPT may travel outside the United States temporarily and be readmitted to resume F-1 status and employment for the remainder of the period authorized on his or her EAD card. The student must not have exceeded the maximum OPT unemployment or OPT STEM Extension unemployment time and must not have been absent from the US for more than 5 months.

Please also review all general travel and re-entry information on the main Travel and Re-Entry page. 

WARNING: Re-entering the United States in a status other than F-1 (such as a tourist) will invalidate F-1 status and OPT authorization.

*Travel While OPT or OPT STEM Extension is Pending 

Travel during the OPT application process is allowed, but not recommended as it poses certain risks. Keep in mind the following:

  • You will need to have someone monitor your mail and let you know if you receive any communications from USCIS.
  • If you receive a Request for Evidence, you will need to respond by a specific deadline, which could be difficult from outside the U.S.
  • For post-completion OPT:  If you are denied for OPT while outside the United States after your Program Completion Date, you will not be able to re-enter or reapply. Your F-1 status will end.
  • For OPT STEM Extension: If you are denied for OPT STEM Extension while outside the United States after your OPT EAD end date, you will not be able to re-enter or reapply. Your F-1 status will end.
  • If you are approved for OPT/STEM while outside the United States, you will need to arrange for your EAD card to be sent to you in order to re-enter the United States.
  • If your F-1 visa is expired, you will need to reapply for an F-1 visa with your EAD card and proof of employment.
  •  If you choose to travel while your application is pending, be sure that you are monitoring your mail. Sign up for an account with  USCIS Case Status online . C ommunicate with BIO about your travel plans. 

OPT/STEM I-20 Updates & Travel Endorsements

During OPT/STEM, the I-20 should be up-to-date with your current information, and the travel endorsement is only valid for 6 months .

  • Employer Updates: If your OPT or STEM OPT is Approved, your I-20 should reflect the approval and your current employer on page 2. Follow instructions on the OPT Reporting page to log into the SSU Hub to upload your approved EAD card and to add any new employment. You'll receive a new I-20 via email in 5 business days with the new  employer.
  • Travel Endorsement: To receive an updated travel signature, follow the instructions on our Travel Endorsement page .
  • Replacement I-20: If you need a new OPT or STEM I-20, you can submit a  Replacement Document request (#13)  to receive a new I-20 with a new travel endorsement via email. (Note: BIO has a 5 business day processing time!

Getting an F-1 Visa Stamp During OPT/STEM

If a student's F-1 visa has expired and the student wishes to travel outside the United States, a new F-1 visa must be obtained before re-entering the United States. Students who need to apply for a new visa should consult BIO prior to travel to discuss the visa application process and possible risks. General Visa information can be found on the  Applying for a Visa  webpage. If your F-1 visa has expired, and OPT or OPT STEM Extension application is pending, you will NOT be able to apply for a new F-1 visa until the application is approved and you have the EAD. 

If You Are on OPT & Have a Pending or Approved H-1B or OPT Cap-Gap I-20

Please first check with your employer and the legal counsel processing your H-1B about your travel plans. Berkeley International Office can only advise you on travel as an F-1, but we cannot advise on how your travel might impact a pending or future H-1B request. Students travelling using an OPT Cap-Gap I-20 should see the H-1B Cap Gap page for more information.

Places the U.S. Government Warns Not to Travel Right Now

You may want to reconsider traveling to these countries right now.

Do Not Travel to These Countries

Man walking through an airport with his suitcase

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Crime, civil unrest and terrorism are common risk factors for countries that end up on the State Department's "Do Not Travel" advisory list.

In 2024, tourism across the globe is “well on track” to return to pre-pandemic levels, according to projections by UN Tourism.

Global conflicts and natural disasters , ranging from a series of coups across Africa to catastrophic earthquakes in the Middle East affected international travel patterns throughout 2023. Still, international tourist arrivals reached 87% of pre-pandemic levels in 2023, according to estimates by UN Tourism .

In January 2024 alone, about 4.6 million U.S. citizens left the country for international destinations, 17% higher than the same month in 2019, according to the International Trade Administration . But some destinations warrant more caution than others.

On Oct. 19, 2023, following the outbreak of war between Israel and Gaza and flaring tensions in the region, the U.S. State Department issued a worldwide caution advisory due to “increased tensions in various locations around the world, the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests.” Prior to this update, the most recent worldwide caution advisory was issued in 2022 after a U.S. strike killed Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s successor as leader of Al Qaeda, causing “a higher potential for anti-American violence.” The worldwide caution advisory remains in effect.

The U.S. State Department also issues individual travel advisory levels for more than 200 countries globally, continually updating them based on a variety of risk indicators such as health, terrorism and civil unrest. Travel advisory levels range from Level 1, which means exercise normal precautions, to Level 4, which means do not travel there.

About 10% of countries – 19 total – have a Level 4: “Do Not Travel” advisory as of Mar. 4. In Level 4 countries, the U.S. government may have “very limited ability” to step in should travelers’ safety or security be at risk, according to the State Department. Crime, civil unrest, kidnapping and terrorism are common risk factors associated with Level 4 countries.

So far in 2024, the State Department made changes to the existing Level 4 advisories for Myanmar, Iran and Gaza, and moved Niger and Lebanon off of the Level 4 list.

Places With a Level 4 Travel Advisory

These are the primary areas the U.S. government says not to travel to right now, in alphabetical order:

Jump to Place: Afghanistan Belarus Burkina Faso Central African Republic Myanmar (formerly Burma) Gaza Haiti Iran Iraq Libya Mali Mexico North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) Russia Somalia South Sudan Sudan Syria Ukraine Venezuela Yemen

Afghanistan: The Central Asian country is wrestling with “terrorism, risk of wrongful detention, kidnapping and crime,” according to the State Department. U.S. citizens are specifically at risk for wrongful detention and kidnapping. In 2022, the government reinstituted public floggings and executions, and women’s rights are disappearing under Taliban control. The U.S. Embassy in Kabul halted operations in August 2021. Since the Taliban took control , many forms of international aid have been halted . Meanwhile, in 2023, some of the year’s deadliest earthquakes killed more than 2,400 in Afghanistan while the country continues to face a years-long extreme drought.

Belarus: Belarus, which shares a western border with Russia and a southern border with Ukraine, has been flagged for “Belarusian authorities’ continued facilitation of Russia’s war against Ukraine, the buildup of Russian military forces in Belarus, the arbitrary enforcement of local laws, the potential of civil unrest, the risk of detention, and the Embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Belarus.” The U.S. Embassy in Minsk halted operations in February 2022.

Burkina Faso: Terrorism, crime and kidnapping are plaguing this West African nation. Terrorist attacks may target hotels, restaurants and schools with little to no warning, and the East and Sahel regions of the country are under a state of emergency. In late November 2023, hundreds died in clashes between state security forces and rebels near the country’s border with Mali. In June, more than 2 million people in Burkina Faso were displaced due to “violence linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group.”

Central African Republic: While there have not been specific incidents of U.S. citizens targeted with violence or crime, violent crime and sudden closure of roads and borders is common. The advisory states that “Embassy Bangui’s limited capacity to provide support to U.S. citizens, crime, civil unrest, and kidnapping” is a factor in its assessment. Recent data from UNICEF suggests the country has the worst drinking water accessibility of all countries in 2022.

Myanmar (Formerly Burma): Armed conflict and civil unrest are the primary reasons to not travel to this Southeast Asian country, which experienced a military coup in early 2021. Limited health care resources, wrongful detentions and “areas with land mines and unexploded ordnance” are also listed as risk factors. After Ukraine and Israel, Myanmar had the highest conflict-related death toll in 2023.

Gaza : Hamas, a foreign terrorist organization as designated by the State Department, controls much of the Gaza Strip, which shares borders with both Israel and Egypt. On Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas fighters broke across the border into Israel, killing hundreds of civilians and soldiers in a brazen attack that stunned Israelis. On Oct. 10, Israel hit the Gaza Strip with “the fiercest air strikes in its 75-year conflict” according to Reuters . The conflict has since escalated into war between Israel and Hamas, with regular Israeli airstrikes leading to extensive civilian casualties in Gaza. As of mid-December, nearly 85% of Gaza’s population were displaced from their homes, according to UN estimates . The region continues to face shortages of food , water, electricity and medical supplies , with conditions deemed “far beyond a humanitarian crisis.” The State Department warns of terrorism and armed conflict within Gaza’s borders.

Haiti: In July 2023, the Department of State ordered all non-emergency U.S. government personnel and family members to leave the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince in response to the increased risk of kidnapping and violent crime in the country , as well as armed conflict between gangs and police. The travel advisory states that cases of kidnapping “often involve ransom negotiations and U.S. citizen victims have been physically harmed during kidnappings.” The travel advisory also states that “U.S. citizens in Haiti should depart Haiti as soon as possible” given “the current security situation and infrastructure challenges.” A series of gang attacks in late September 2023 caused thousands to flee their homes, and many aid groups have been forced to cut or suspend operations amid escalating violence in recent months.

Iran: Terrorism, kidnapping and civil unrest are risk factors for all travelers to Iran, while U.S. citizens are specifically at risk for “arbitrary arrest.” U.S.-Iranian nationals such as students, journalists and business travelers have been arrested on charges of espionage and threatening national security. Executions in Iran rose sharply between 2021 and 2022, bringing the country’s total to nearly 580 people over the year, according to a report by Amnesty International released in May 2023.

Iraq: The State Department cites “terrorism, kidnapping, armed conflict [and] civil unrest” as cause for the country’s Level 4 distinction. Iraq’s northern borders, and its border with Syria, are especially dangerous. Since the escalation of conflict in neighboring Israel in October, there has been an increase in attacks against Iraqi military bases, which host U.S. troops and other international forces. In October 2023, non-emergency U.S. government personnel and eligible family members were ordered to leave the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

Libya: Following the end of its dictatorship over a decade ago, Libya has been wrought with internal conflict between armed groups in the East and West. Armed conflict, civil unrest, crime, kidnapping and terrorism are all risk factors. U.S. citizens have been targets of kidnapping for ransom, with terrorists targeting hotels and airports frequented by Westerners. The U.S. Embassy in Tripoli halted operations in 2014. In mid-September 2023, floods, which some say were intensified by climate change , killed thousands in eastern Libya. Clashes between armed factions escalated across the country in the latter half of 2023, including in the capital city of Tripoli and in Benghazi.

Mali: After experiencing military coups in 2020 and 2021, crime, terrorism and kidnapping are all prevalent threats in this West African landlocked nation. In July 2022, non-emergency U.S. government employees and their families were ordered to leave the country due to higher risk of terrorist activity. A U.N. report in August 2023 said that military groups in the country, including both Mali security forces and possibly Russian Wagner mercenaries, were spreading terror through the use of violence against women and human rights abuses. Democratic elections were supposed to occur in February 2024, but Mali’s military junta postponed the plans indefinitely. In December, the U.N. officially ended a decade-long peacekeeping presence in the country, which had been among the agency’s deadliest missions, with hundreds of the mission personnel killed since 2013.

Mexico: Each state in Mexico is assessed separately for travel advisory levels. Six of the 32 states in Mexico are designated as Level 4: Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas. Crime and kidnapping are listed as the primary risk factors throughout the country. Nearly 112,000 people were missing across the country as of October, a number the U.N. has called “alarming.”

North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea): U.S. passports are not valid for travel “to, in, or through” this country, home to one of the world's longest-running dynastic dictatorships. The travel advisory states that the Level 4 distinction is due to “the continuing serious risk of arrest and long-term detention of U.S. nationals.” In July 2023, a U.S. soldier fled across the border into North Korea, where he is believed to be in North Korean custody, the first American detained in the North in nearly five years. He was returned to U.S. custody in September 2023.

Russia: The travel advisory for Russia cites its invasion of Ukraine , harassment of U.S. citizens by Russian government officials and arbitrary law enforcement as a few of the reasons for the Level 4 designation. Chechnya and Mount Elbrus are specifically listed as Level 4 regions. Terrorism, civil unrest, health, kidnapping and wrongful detention are all noted as risks.

Russia Invades Ukraine: A Timeline

TOPSHOT - Black smoke rises from a military airport in Chuguyev near Kharkiv  on February 24, 2022. - Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military operation in Ukraine today with explosions heard soon after across the country and its foreign minister warning a "full-scale invasion" was underway. (Photo by Aris Messinis / AFP) (Photo by ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Somalia: A severe drought resulting from five failed rainy seasons in a row killed 43,000 people in 2022, and caused a famine amid conflict with Islamist insurgents . Violent crime is common throughout Somalia , pirates frequent its coast off the Horn of Africa, and medical facilities, where they exist, have limited capacity. Crime, terrorism, civil unrest, health and kidnapping are all risk factors. In January 2024, some passengers aboard a U.N.-contracted helicopter were taken hostage by al-Shabaab militants after the vehicle crashed in central Somalia.

South Sudan: Crime, kidnapping and armed conflict are the primary risk factors for South Sudan, which separated from Sudan in 2011, making it the world’s newest country . Weapons are readily available, and travelers have been victims of sexual assault and armed robbery.

Sudan: The U.S. evacuated its embassy in Khartoum in April 2023, and the country closed its airspace due to the ongoing conflict in the country, only permitting humanitarian aid and evacuation efforts. Fighting has escalated in the region between two warring generals seeking to gain control after a military coup in 2021 ousted the country’s prime minister. Civil unrest is the primary risk factor for Africa’s third largest country by area. Crime, terrorism, kidnapping and armed conflict are also noted. The International Criminal Court began investigating alleged war crimes and violence against African ethnic groups in the country in 2023. Millions have fled their homes due to conflict, and the U.N. has said its efforts to provide aid have been hindered by a lack of support, safety and resources. As recently as December 2023, the United Nations warned of catastrophic famine , with millions of children at-risk for malnutrition .

Syria: The advisory states that “No part of Syria is safe from violence,” with terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, armed conflict and risk of unjust detention all potential risk factors. U.S. citizens are often a target for kidnappings and detention. The U.S. Embassy in Damascus halted operations in 2012. Fighting in neighboring Israel has escalated since October, and the conflict has spilled over into Syria, where the U.S. has carried out air strikes following drone and rocket attacks against American troops in Syria and Iraq, triggered by the Israel-Hamas war.

Ukraine: Russian setbacks in their invasion of Ukraine buoyed hopes in Ukraine in 2023. However, Ukraine is a Level 4 country due to Russia’s invasion, with crime and civil unrest also noted as risk factors. The country’s forces shot down two Russian fighter jets on Christmas Eve 2023, in a move Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said “sets the right mood for the entire year ahead.”

Venezuela: Human rights abuses and lack of health care plague this South American nation, which has been in a political crisis since 2014. In 2019, diplomatic personnel were withdrawn from the U.S. Embassy in Caracas. Threats in the country include crime, civil unrest, kidnapping, wrongful detention and poor health infrastructure.

Yemen: Six of the nine risk factors defined by the State Department – terrorism, civil unrest, health risks, kidnapping, armed conflict and landmines – are all present in Yemen. Despite private companies offering tourist visits to the Yemeni island of Socotra, the U.S. government argues those arranging such visits “are putting tourists in danger.” Civil war and cholera are also both present throughout the country. The U.S. Embassy in Sanaa halted operations in 2015. The country has experienced a relative lull in the civil war fighting, but as peace negotiations have gotten traction, flare ups in the fighting have jeopardized progress. Most recently, the U.S. and U.K. have carried out a series of airstrikes in the country, targeting Iran-backed Houthi sites.

Other Countries to Watch

Since Jan. 1, the State Department has updated travel advisories for 17 different countries as well as for the West Bank and Gaza, adding information about specific regions or risk factors, or simply renewing an existing advisory. Travel advisory levels can change based on several factors in a nation, such as increased civil unrest, policies that affect human rights or higher risks of unlawful detention.

The State Department has given about 25 countries an assessment of Level 3, meaning it recommends people “reconsider travel” to those destinations.

On Oct. 14, one week after the deadly Hamas attack on Israel, Israel and the West Bank were both moved from Level 2 to Level 3, while Gaza remains at Level 4. The region’s travel advisory was updated in November to reflect travel restrictions for certain government employees who have not already left the area, and it was updated again on Jan. 3.

Following the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war in early October, the U.S. State Department raised Lebanon ’s travel advisory level from a Level 3 to a Level 4 level due to “the unpredictable security situation related to rocket, missile, and artillery exchanges” between Israel and Hezbollah or other militant groups. In December, the U.S. Embassy in Beirut returned to normal staffing and presence, and on Jan. 29, the country was moved back to Level 3. Crime, terrorism, armed conflict, civil unrest, kidnapping and unexploded landmines are listed as the country’s primary risk factors. However, the country’s borders with Syria and with Israel, as well as refugee settlements within Lebanon, are specifically noted as Level 4 regions.

China became a Level 3 country in late 2020, with an update in December 2022 citing “the surge in COVID-19 cases, arbitrary enforcement of local laws, and COVID-19-related restrictions” as the reason for the advisory. In June 2023, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) was moved from the Level 3 to the Level 2 list, but travelers are still advised to be cautious in the area due to “arbitrary enforcement of local laws.” Meanwhile, Macau remains at Level 3.

Following an attempted coup in August 2023, Niger was elevated to Level 4 in August and the Department of State ordered all non-emergency U.S. government personnel and family members to leave the U.S. Embassy in Niamey. In early January 2024, the overall risk level for the country was lowered back to Level 3. Despite the new classification, the State Department still asks non-emergency government personnel and eligible family members to depart the country.

In mid-December 2023 there was an explosion at Guinea’s main fuel depot which has since affected access to health care and basic goods and services. The country was subsequently designated a Level 3 nation after having previously been Level 2. Concerns about civil unrest, health, crime and fuel shortages impacting local infrastructure were listed as the primary risk factors contributing to the change.

Several Level 3 countries are among the worst countries for human trafficking, as designated by the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report . Level 3 countries on this list include Papua New Guinea, Guinea Bissau, China and Chad. There are also nine Level 4 countries designated as among the worst for human trafficking: Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Russia, Syria, South Sudan and Venezuela.

Over 70 countries are currently at Level 2, meaning the State Department recommends travelers “exercise increased caution” when traveling to those destinations.

Botswana became the newest Level 2 country on Feb. 26 after having previously been Level 1, with crime noted as the primary risk factor.

France, which saw nationwide protests throughout 2023, has civil unrest and terrorism noted as risk factors for its Level 2 status, and Sweden’s Level 2 status is associated with risks of terrorism.

The Level 2 travel advisory for the Bahamas was updated in January to reflect water safety concerns. The advisory warns that “activities involving commercial recreational watercraft, including water tours, are not consistently regulated” and notes that government personnel are “not permitted to use independently operated jet-ski rentals on New Providence and Paradise Islands.” It also warns visitors to be mindful of sharks, weather and water conditions. The advisory also says that crime is a primary risk factor with gang-on-gang violence contributing to high homicide rates in some areas. Visitors are asked to “be vigilant” and to not physically resist robbery attempts.

Bangladesh 's Level 2 travel advisory was updated in October 2023 to add a note about the country’s general election , which took place Jan. 7, 2024. The advisory states “demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.” The U.S. has since claimed the country’s election was not free nor fair.

In November 2023, several Level 2 travel advisories were updated with new cautionary information. The advisory for Ghana was updated to reflect threats against LGBTQI+ travelers specifically, noting “anti-LGBTQI+ rhetoric and violence have increased in recent years.” Meanwhile, the advisory for South Africa was updated in February to note that routes recommended by GPS may be unsafe with higher risk for crime.

Turkmenistan was moved off of the Level 2 list to become the newest addition to the Level 1 list on Jan. 22, meaning normal precautions are recommended but there are no risk factors causing travelers to practice increased caution.

The State Department asks travelers to pay attention to travel advisory levels and alerts , review country information pages for their destinations and read related country security reports before going abroad.

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University of California Office of the President

  • UC Operations >
  • UCOP Operations >
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Booking travel through the UC Travel Center (UCTC)

Business resource center.

Traveler obtains approval for trip following prescribed departmental or UCOP procedures.

Traveler arranges for travel (airfare, hotel, rental car, etc.) using CONNEXXUS to book through one of the on-line travel options or through UCTC.  When the traveler does not use UCTC, the traveler should retain itineraries and receipts/evidence of purchase and payment for future submission under the Travel Reimbursement Process and the following steps do not apply.

When the traveler/arranger uses UCTC to make travel arrangements, the traveler/arranger receives and reviews a preliminary travel itinerary.   

If the itinerary is correct, the traveler/arranger submits to the BRC his or her travel itinerary, along with other required information, which includes: dates of travel, business purpose, the department code and FAU to be charged, department authorization.

The travel request with authorization is sent to the BRC Travel and Entertainment Team e-mail box where it is picked up and reviewed by a BRC preparer.

The BRC preparer reviews the submitted documentation to ensure compliance.  If information is missing, the BRC preparer contacts the traveler/arranger to obtain the required information.

Once all required documentation has been received, the BRC preparer creates a PTA.  The PTA number  is e-mailed to a UCTC travel agent and to the traveler/arranger. 

UCTC reviews the PTA and issues the e-ticket and e-mail confirmation to the traveler/arranger and BRC preparer.

The BRC preparer receives a copy of the e-ticket and final itinerary and completes the ticketing process.

The traveler retains copies of the e-ticket and travel itinerary for future submission under the Travel Reimbursement Process.

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The No. 1 Hotel in Las Vegas Has No Gaming, No Smoking, and a 27,000-square-foot Spa

Our list of T+L readers' favorite hotels in Vegas according to the "World’s Best Awards" survey for 2024 is led by the elegant and serene Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas.

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How Voting Works

What readers loved, the full list.

This year, the best hotels in Vegas read like a who’s-who of the Strip — all 10 properties are lined up on an electric three-mile stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard. No matter how you do Vegas , there’s something for you here: The winning hotels range in size from less than 300 rooms to more than 7,000, some with casinos that are among the largest in town and others, as they advertise prominently, with no casino at all. And seven Vegas hotels make the top 10 list for at least the fifth year in a row.

Every year for our World's Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Over 186,000 T+L readers completed the 2024 survey. A total of more than 700,000 votes were cast across over 8,700 properties (hotels, cities, cruise lines, etc.).

Hotels were classified as either resort hotel, city hotel, inn, or safari lodge based on their location and amenities, and they were specifically rated on the criteria below:

  • Rooms/facilities

For each characteristic, respondents could choose a rating of excellent, above average, average, below average, or poor. The final scores are averages of these responses.

Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas

Las Vegas was a pioneer of the “hotel within a hotel” trend, and in-the-know readers are big fans of a few of them. Coming in at No. 6, the just-renovated Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas is a sophisticated escape that occupies five floors of the Mandalay Bay tower, though you’d hardly know it. And the Jacques Garcia-designed NoMad Las Vegas (No. 3) can be found in the top floors of the Park MGM — a “great location,” one reader wrote, that “feels removed from the Vegas craziness.”

But of course, many of the top picks for 2024 are right in the thick of it, with the biggest names in Vegas making appearances. The iconic Venetian Resort Las Vegas, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, makes No. 7 for its luxurious, Italian-inspired guest rooms and wealth of restaurants, shows, and casino games.

In second place is Wynn Las Vegas, whose sister property, Encore Las Vegas, also made the list. “I have always loved the level of service we receive at this hotel,” said one reader of the 2,700-room stunner. After a $200 million gut renovation completed in 2022, Wynn has a stylish new look and venues like an outpost of Los Angeles supper club Delilah. But nothing has changed when it comes to the experience: “It’s the Wynn,” wrote another reader. “What else can you say?”

Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas

Is the No. 1 hotel in Las Vegas the best of both worlds? T+L readers seem to think so. In the heart of the Strip, Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas (previously the Mandarin Oriental) is just a few minutes’ walk from countless casinos and clubs. But after a night on the town, the no-smoking, no-gaming hotel offers some rare peace and quiet. The 27,000-square-foot “best hotel spa in Las Vegas,” as a survey respondent described it, opens out onto a calm, cabana-lined eighth-floor pool. And with soaking tubs and floor-to-ceiling windows, the Waldorf Astoria’s 392 guest rooms — that’s practically boutique, in Vegas terms — are pure understated elegance. “Made me forget I was in Las Vegas as it is tucked away from the chaos,” one reader quipped. “What a treat.”

Made me forget I was in Las Vegas as it is tucked away from the chaos. What a treat.

1. Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas

Reader Score: 94.36

2. Wynn Las Vegas

Reader Score: 91.07

3. NoMad Las Vegas

Reader Score: 89.65

4. Encore Las Vegas

Reader Score: 89.56

5. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Reader Score: 88.49

6. Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas

Reader Score: 88.37

7. The Venetian Resort Las Vegas

Reader Score: 87.88

8. The Signature at MGM Grand

Reader Score: 86.38

9. Bellagio Resort & Casino

Reader Score: 84.73

10. Aria Las Vegas

Reader Score: 84.58

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If You Test Positive for Covid, Can You Still Travel?

With coronavirus cases on the rise, summer travelers are once again facing difficult questions. Here’s the latest travel guidance from health experts.

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By Shannon Sims

As new coronavirus variants gain traction across the United States, summer travelers are facing a familiar and tiresome question: How will the ever-mutating virus affect travel plans?

In light of updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the answers may be slightly different from those in previous years.

Here’s what to know about traveling this summer if you’re worried about — or think you might have — Covid-19.

What’s going on with Covid?

Recent C.D.C. data show that Covid infections are rising or most likely rising in more than 40 states. Hospitalization rates and deaths, while low compared with the peaks seen in previous years, are also on the rise.

The uptick is tied to a handful of variants — named KP.2, KP.3 and LB.1 — that now account for a majority of new cases .

At the same time, record numbers of people are traveling by car and plane.

I’d planned to travel, but I’m sick with Covid. What should I do?

In short: You should probably delay or cancel your trip.

If you tested positive or are experiencing Covid symptoms, which include fever, chills, fatigue, a cough, a runny nose, body aches and a headache, the C.D.C. recommends that you stay home and keep away from others.

According to its latest guidelines, the agency advises waiting until at least 24 hours after you are fever-free and your overall symptoms are improving before going back to normal activities, including travel.

What are the isolation rules?

New C.D.C. guidelines issued in March made significant changes to the recommended isolation period for people with Covid.

The agency now says that you can resume daily activities if you meet two requirements : You have been fever-free for at least 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medications) and your symptoms are improving overall. Previously, the agency recommended isolating for at least five days, plus a period of post-isolation precautions.

Even after your isolation period, you may still be able to spread the virus to others, which is why the C.D.C. encourages you to continue to take precautions for the next five days: Use masks, wash your hands frequently, practice physical distancing, clean your air by opening windows or purifying it, and continue testing yourself before gathering around others.

Are there any lingering testing or vaccine requirements?

Travelers no longer need to show proof of being vaccinated against Covid or take a Covid test to enter the U.S. (This applies to both U.S. citizens and noncitizens.)

The same is true in Europe and most other countries.

How can I prepare before traveling?

First, make sure you stay up-to-date with Covid vaccines .

Next, plan to bring any items that would be helpful should you become sick while traveling.

“Make sure to take a good first aid or medication kit with you,” said Vicki Sowards, the director of nursing resources for Passport Health , which provides travel medical services. Ms. Sowards recommended that your kit include medications that you usually take when you are ill, as well as Covid tests.

You may want to consider packing medications that can help alleviate the symptoms of Covid, like painkillers, cold and flu medicines, and fever reducers. Bringing along some electrolyte tablets (or powdered Gatorade) can also help if you get sick.

Ms. Sowards also suggested speaking with your physician before traveling, particularly if you’re in a vulnerable or high-risk group. Some doctors might prescribe the antiviral Paxlovid as a precautionary measure, she said, to be taken in the event of a Covid infection.

How can I stay safe while traveling?

Wearing a mask on a plane or in crowded areas is still a good idea, said Ms. Sowards. Covid is spread through airborne particles and droplets, “so protecting yourself is paramount, especially if you are immunocompromised or have chronic health conditions.”

If you do get sick, start wearing a mask and using over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen for fever or joint aches, Ms. Sowards advised.

Follow New York Times Travel on Instagram and sign up for our weekly Travel Dispatch newsletter to get expert tips on traveling smarter and inspiration for your next vacation. Dreaming up a future getaway or just armchair traveling? Check out our 52 Places to Go in 2024 .

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COMMENTS

  1. SB 447 Rescinds Use of State Funds Travel Prohibition

    SB 447 Rescinds Use of State Funds Travel Prohibition. As of September 13 th, 2023, all travel restrictions based on AB 1887 to any of the 24 states that had enacted anti-LGBTQ+ legislation have been lifted and takes effect immediately. Governor Newsom signed SB 447 ending the ban on state funded travel to the states previously listed on the ...

  2. Updated travel guidelines for the UC community

    Updated travel guidelines for the UC community. Although the United States has recently experienced a decrease in new COVID-19 cases and positivity rates, and an increase in the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccination, COVID-19 continues to present a global health risk that must be taken seriously. The Office of the President has issued ...

  3. | Take the UC travel survey and read the latest state-funded travel

    The Central Travel Office is launching the second systemwide survey to explore the UC community's travel concerns. Your honest and valuable feedback will help the university plan for a return to travel, including relationships with airlines, hotels and agencies at all UC locations. Take the survey here.

  4. Updated AB 1887 Restricted States for State Funded Travel

    No. AB 1887 prohibits the use of state funds to pay for travel to a state on the Attorney General's list, except where one of the statutory exceptions applies. It does not affect travel that is paid for or reimbursed using non-state funds. • What are the states that the California Attorney General Identified as Subject to the Travel ...

  5. G-28 Travel Regulations

    When air travel is required, consider fuel-efficient regional carriers for certain routes, book direct flights whenever feasible (balancing efficiencies of cost, time and safety), and leveraging other UC preferred airlines that disclose emissions by fleet or individual travel.

  6. Travel policies

    Expenses and Restrictions. It is the responsibility of the traveler to understand which expenses can be reimbursed according to the University of California Business and Finance Bulletin G-28, Policy and Regulations Governing Travel and U.S. Government regulations, and to report his or her actual travel expenses in a timely and ethical manner.

  7. Prohibition on State-funded and State-sponsored Travel to States With

    Per Senate Bill 447 (2023), Assembly Bill 1887 (2016) is no longer in effect, and the State of California's restriction on state-funded travel has been eliminated.

  8. Additional states added to travel restrictions

    UC Legal has interpreted the restriction on the use of state funds to apply to direct expenditures for travel-related costs (e.g. hotel and transportation), but not the salaries or time spent by employees who travel to one of the identified states.

  9. Updated travel guidelines for the UC community

    The Office of the President has issued several directives regarding travel over the past year that restricted non-essential, University-related travel. The last directive, ... prior to making travel plans and ensure that their travel is registered with the UC Travel Insurance Program.

  10. | State-funded travel restrictions updateLink: UCOP's e-newsletter

    The statute does not define the term "state-funded." UC Legal has interpreted the restriction on the use of state funds to apply to direct expenditures for travel-related costs (e.g. hotel and transportation), but not the salaries or time spent by employees who travel to one of the identified states.

  11. California state-funded travel ban

    California Assembly Bill 1887, or AB 1887, is a state statute that banned state-funded and sponsored travel to states with laws deemed discriminatory against the LGBTQ community. The bill includes exceptions for some types of travel the state has defined as necessary. Before the bill's repeal, travel to 23 states was banned. [1] The law passed on September 27, 2016, [2] and applied to four ...

  12. Restrictions on UC Travel to Certain States Lifted

    California no longer restricts government-funded travel to states that had enacted anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. The change, cited by UCOP, applies to university-related travel at UC Merced.

  13. Registering UC Travel

    Travel registration is an important risk management tool. If an emergency occurs in your travel destination, this is how your campus Risk Management office will know you are there. Travel registration also enrolls you to receive travel alerts from UC's security provider, Crisis24.

  14. Travel Restrictions

    UC International has restrictions on travel for minor student travelers and students traveling to countries over the US Department of State Level 2.

  15. Travelers Clinic

    Through a weekly Travelers Clinic, the UC Davis Infectious Diseases team provides expert medical consultation for those planning international trips, including information on:

  16. New UC Travel webinars and discounts

    New United Airlines discount. UC Travel isn't just for business — they offer perks and tips you can use for personal and family travel, too. The latest offering is United Break for Business. Get access to up to 10% off your personal travel when you book by Dec. 31, 2021. To get the full details and instructions: Log into Connexxus (use your ...

  17. Travel and Re-entry to the U.S. While on OPT

    In general, an F-1 student on post-completion OPT or STEM OPT may travel outside the United States temporarily and be readmitted to resume F-1 status and employment for the remainder of the period authorized on his or her EAD card.

  18. Summer travel tips from UC Travel

    Summer travel tips from UC Travel. Summer is here and Californians are once again hitting the tarmac and the open road. If you and your loved ones must travel this year, be sure to start by reviewing the CDC's before you travel page. UC Travel has also compiled helpful advice for business and leisure travelers alike.

  19. Places the U.S. Government Warns Not to Travel Right Now

    Places With a Level 4 Travel Advisory. These are the primary areas the U.S. government says not to travel to right now, in alphabetical order: Jump to Place: Afghanistan: The Central Asian country ...

  20. Booking travel through the UC Travel Center (UCTC)

    Booking travel through the UC Travel Center (UCTC) Traveler obtains approval for trip following prescribed departmental or UCOP procedures. Traveler arranges for travel (airfare, hotel, rental car, etc.) using CONNEXXUS to book through one of the on-line travel options or through UCTC. When the traveler does not use UCTC, the traveler should ...

  21. Your travel plans and coronavirus: What should you do?

    Your travel plans and the new coronavirus. What should you do? A UCHealth expert on infectious diseases advises travelers to avoid crowds and wash hands.

  22. Travel Advisories

    Subscribe to get up-to-date safety and security information and help us reach you in an emergency abroad.

  23. Travel Brochure Request Form

    Travel Brochure Request Form. Fill out the form below and we'll send you brochures for currently scheduled trips. We'll also add you to our mailing list to make sure you receive future travel program information.

  24. Our Readers' Favorite Cities in the U.S. of 2023

    The best cities in the United States in our annual "World's Best Awards" survey for 2023.

  25. The No. 1 Hotel in Las Vegas Has No Gaming, No Smoking, and a ...

    The No. 1 Hotel in Las Vegas Has No Gaming, No Smoking, and a 27,000-square-foot Spa. Our list of T+L readers' favorite hotels in Vegas according to the "World's Best Awards" survey for 2024 is ...

  26. If You Test Positive for Covid, Can You Still Travel?

    With coronavirus cases on the rise, summer travelers are once again facing difficult questions. Here's the latest travel guidance from health experts.