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Travel Alerts

September 15, 2017 - Following this morning's terrorist attack on a London Tube train, Ohio State reached out to those students studying and researching in London.

In response to the incident, the M15 Security Service (the United Kingdom's domestic counter-intelligence and security agency) has raised the threat level for international terrorism in the U.K. from Severe to Critical.

Update: On September 17, 2017 the threat level for international terrorism was lowered from Critical to Severe.

The M15 Security Service maintains a public listing of its threat level system and its intended use. It is important to note the following on the M15 website:

How should you respond?

Threat levels themselves do not require specific responses from the public. They are a tool for security practitioners working across different sectors of the Critical National Infrastructure and the police to use in determining what protective security response may be required.

Vigilance is especially important given the current national threat. Sharing national threat levels with the general public keeps everyone informed. It explains the context for the various security measures (for example, airport security or bag searches) which we may encounter in our daily lives.

The movement to Critical does allow for an enhanced and militarized response. Travelers may notice more military presence around key public venues including public transport stations. It is also likely that there will be additional security operations as local authorities investigate the incident. The last three occasions the threat level was raised to Critical (2006, 2007 and May 2017) the enhanced alert lasted three to four days. Travelers in London and the United Kingdom are reminded to:

  1. Exercise diligent situational awareness
  2. Routinely monitor local media and security services including Metropolitan Police
  3. Ensure they are registered with the Department of State STEP notification system

Ohio State will continue to diligently monitor safety and security information from official resources and convey important updates to all travelers.

 

September 15, 2017 - On September 14, 2017 the Department of State issued a renewal of the standing Worldwide Caution, replacing the previous caution from March 6, 2017. As with all Department of State warnings and alerts, the caution is reviewed and renewed approximately every six months. The context of the Worldwide Caution provides an overview of concerns for threats of terrorist actions, political violence and criminal activity agains U.S. citizens and interests abroad.

The content of the new caution links to every country with a Travel Warning at the point the caution was issued. The caution is broad based and does not identify specific threats. You can view the entire caution at travel.state.gov. We encourage all Ohio State travelers to review and be aware of the content for the region to which they are traveling.

For additional information about the Department of State cautions, alerts and warnings please consult our Traveler Security page. You can also view security and safety information on the country information sheet for your current location by using the Learn About Your Destination feature. If there are any additional questions, please contact Dru Simmons, international risk manager, at simmons.541@osu.edu.