What You Need to Know About the New Travel Alert

November 24th 2015

Taylor Bell

Due to mounting concern over terror threats, the U.S. State Department has issued a global travel alert.

Americans will be able to travel but the State Department is advising U.S. citizens to take precaution and "exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation."

Related: Belgium Answer Terror Threat With Cat Photos

Authorities cite that terrorists have targeted large sporting venues and events, theaters, open markets and aviation services. As a recent example, ISIS claimed responsibility for an airliner that crashed in Egypt and killed more than 200 people back in October. And on November 13, ISIS members are the ones believed to have killed more than 100 people in attacks on a Parisian restaurant and music theater.

Based on current information obtained by the State Department, authorities believe that the likelihood of terror activity from ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram and other terrorist cells will continue, according to State Department press release. In order to preserve national and private security the alert will not expire until February 24, 2016.

ALSO: America's Heroin Problem Is Helping Mexican Drug Cartels Expand

The State Department's decision comes just days after Belgium declared the highest level of terror threat in its country, which resulted in a lockdown of the nation's capital. In light of the increase in terror threats the U.S. Consulate in Brussels announced it will be closed Tuesday but will remain open for emergencies for U.S. citizens.

The State Department sent out this tweet warning people to beware of traveling to one country in particular.

What you can do

Per the State Department's request, people are strongly encouraged to be careful during the holiday season and prepare for additional security screenings and unexpected disruptions.

People can also enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service for U.S. citizens and people traveling abroad to register their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Anyone registered at STEP can receive current information about safety conditions in your country of choice. The service also provides an easy way for family and friends to contact you if there is an emergency while you're traveling.

According to the BBC, previous alerts have been issued before in May 2011, September 2011, August 2013 and December 2014.