US Says Australia Is As Dangerous As Hong Kong And PNG
The U.S. has upgraded its travel warning for Australia due to the country's bushfire crisis, putting it at the same warning level as Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea.
The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs has updated its travel advice for tourists travelling to Australia this summer.
The state department warned in that Australia is now at Level Two: Exercise Increased Caution.
"Tourists should consider postponing their trip to affected areas until the danger of natural disaster has passed," the department warned.
"Authorities may issue evacuation orders to certain areas as conditions warrant."
The U.S. has four levels of travel warnings from business as usual to do not travel.
The government also warned tourists about poor air quality due to smoke, and said it is important for "everyone to reduce exposure".
"Consider postponing your travel plans to areas where air quality is significantly affected by bushfire conditions," the warning read.
Other countries on level two include Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea.
A number of European countries, United Kingdom, Denmark, Belgium, France and the Netherlands, are also on level two due to the threat of terrorism.
The new warning from the U.S. comes as tourism experts claimed it could take up to two years for the country to bounce back from the bushfire crisis.
According to the Australian government, there were 8.6 million visitors to the country between June 2018 and June 2019, spending $44.6 billion.
Tourists from New Zealand and the U.K. make up two of the largest groups who travel to Australia, with 1.3 million and 670,000 respectively visiting between that time period.
New Zealand has also warned travellers to Australia to be cautious due to terrorism risk.
"The current national threat system assesses the likelihood of an act of terrorism occurring in Australia as ‘Probable’ (level three on a five-level scale)," Safe Travel New Zealand said on its website.
The British Government is also warning travellers about the bushfire threat.
Its travel advice always warns tourists about other natural disasters, such as flash flooding and tropical storms.
The advice also warns terrorists could to try to carry out attacks in Australia.
"Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners," the U.K. government advises.