Americans are being urged to avoid travel abroad as the coronavirus continues to have a stranglehold on the world.
The State Department has issued an unprecedented “do not travel” abroad warning due to the travel restrictions and quarantines imposed by governments around the world, ABC News reports. The Level 4 alert is usually reserved for war zones.
Americans in countries that are still operating commercial flights have been advised to return to the U.S. immediately, “unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.”
The new advisory offers no specific guidance for the thousands of U.S citizens reportedly stranded overseas after borders were closed and travel barred due to quarantines.
The State Department has simply warned that “travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite timeframe.”
One tourist has lashed out at the government for not doing more to help Americans stuck overseas.
“From all appearances, we agree that there seems to be no one from the U.S. consulate or embassy who cares about these U.S. citizens trying to get home,” Art Goldberg told ABC News. He and his wife have been trying to make their way home from Morocco after the government shut down all travel in and out of the country this week.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump blamed Americans stranded abroad for their predicament.
“They got caught. They were late with their flights. We gave them a period of time. They didn’t make it, but we’re looking to get them out with military — probably through the military,” Trump told ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl during a briefing at the White House Thursday.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are least 209,839 global coronavirus cases, and the global death toll has risen above 10,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.