United States: State Department issues travel alert for Europe

The State Department issued a travel alert for Tuesday, highlighting the possibility of terrorist attacks throughout Europe over the summer.


Key points:

  • In particular, the State Department said matches and events associated with the European soccer championship (UEFA Euro 2016), hosted by France from June 10 to July 10, could represent “potential targets for terrorists.” France has extended its state of emergency through July 26, a period which also includes the Tour de France cycling race.
  • The department also said the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, which is expected to draw 2.5 million people between July 26 and 31, could pose problems. Of particular concern is the expected strain on local infrastructure from the influx of millions of people.

Background: The State Department’s alert comes as Europe grapples with the fallout of terrorist attacks in France and Belgium.

France and a number of other European countries have imposed national border controls following the attacks and amid a massive influx of migrants from the Middle East and North Africa. Poland is expected to institute border controls from July 4 to Aug. 2. Travelers in Europe this summer should not only exercise caution, but expect delays and be prepared to show their passports and undergo screening when crossing national borders.

State Department officials issued the notice to alert U.S. citizens “to the risk of potential terrorist attacks throughout Europe, targeting major events, tourist sites, restaurants, commercial centers and transportation.” The alert is set to expire Aug. 31.

BAL Analysis: Travelers should exercise caution when they are abroad, especially in regions where officials believe extremist groups are interested in launching an attack. Employers may wish to encourage their employees to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, a free service that provides updated security information and allows Americans to register their trips abroad with the closest U.S. embassy or consulate.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact BerryApplemanLeiden@balglobal.com.

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