Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 3 February 2012, 15:09 NZDT
  • Still current at: 28 January 2020


There is an increased global risk of terrorism. No country is immune from a terrorist attack, and no person is immune from becoming a victim of an attack. Terrorists have little regard for civilian casualties and, in many cases, attacks are designed to maximise casualties.

Although New Zealand travellers are unlikely to be targeted deliberately, they are usually indistinguishable from any “Western” tourist, and frequent places where other Western tourists are found. This puts New Zealanders at the same risk as others.

Wherever you are, you should keep yourself informed about the latest alerts and stay aware of your surroundings in areas where large numbers of people congregate, such as shopping malls, markets, monuments, demonstrations and on any public transport.

The United States Homeland Security Advisory System Threat Level is currently at yellow ("elevated"), indicating a "significant risk of terrorist attacks". New York City is currently at orange ("high"), indicating there is a high risk of terrorist attacks. Further information is available from the United States Department of Homeland Security [external link].

"Express kidnappings" where foreigners are abducted and forced to withdraw money from ATMs are on the increase in Mexico.

Avoid non-essential travel

Destinations in North America where we advise against tourist and other non-essential travel.


Avoid non-essential travel to the states of Chihuahua, Colima, Durango, Guerrero (except for the cities of Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo and Taxco and the toll road to Taxco), Michoacán (except for the cities of Morelia and Lázaro Cardenas), Sinaloa, Sonora and Tamaulipas due to the high levels of violent crime in these regions.

Exercise increased caution

Destinations in North America where we advise caution.


Exercise increased caution elsewhere in Mexico due to violent crime and drug-related violence.

United States of America

Exercise increased caution in the United States due to the threat of terrorism.

Exercise normal safety and security precautions

Destinations in North America where we advise normal.


Exercise normal safety and security precautions in Canada, travellers should be alert to the underlying threat of terrorism.

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Travel Advisories in North America

United States of America

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