Fri, Feb 08, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Ministry advises caution on some foreign travel

CODE RED:Due to floods and civil unrest the ministry is issuing color-coded warnings advising travelers to avoid some areas, and to proceed with due caution in others

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwanese should be on their guard if they are traveling to Egypt, Australia, Greece, Italy or the Vatican during the nine-day Lunar New Year holiday that begins tomorrow, the Executive Yuan’s Department of Consumer Protection said yesterday.

The department, which compiles travel advice issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that the provinces of Said, Suez and Ismaileya around Egypt’s Port Said, as well as Tahrir Square in Cairo, have been affected by large-scale political protests and added that police often use teargas to disperse protesters.

The ministry issued an “orange” travel alert again on Monday and urged Taiwanese travelers to avoid unnecessary travel to those areas.

The Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Ipswich and the Gold Coast areas of the Australian state of Queensland, meanwhile, have been affected by a tropical cyclone since Jan. 26, and rain has caused water levels in rivers in those areas to surge.

The ministry issued a “yellow” travel advisory for the areas, urging the public to avoid dangerous areas when traveling there.

In Greece, subway workers have launched strikes that are also sometimes joined by workers in other areas of the public transportation sector, affecting public transportation.

In the Vatican City and Italy, social order has worsened due to rising unemployment and an increase in the number of foreign immigrants, prompting the ministry to issue a “gray” travel advisory on Jan. 28 and Jan. 29, advising Taiwanese to avoid going there if possible.

The ministry uses red, orange, yellow and gray in a four-color code to indicate the levels of travel alert for people traveling overseas, with “red” the highest warning level and “gray” the lowest.

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