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Australia ups US travel alert; warns of election, inauguration violence

Australia ups US travel alert; warns of election, inauguration violence

Australians are being warned not to travel to the U.S. because of COVID-19, but new guidelines also warn citizens of the land down under to be careful around the presidential election.

New travel alerts enacted by Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade urge citizens located in the U.S. to take extra caution surrounding the presidential election and inauguration. The U.S. has been given the highest alert status on Australia's rating scale — a level four "do not travel."

“Take precautions to keep safe during the election season,” the advisory reads, noting that violent crime, especially gun violence, is more common in the U.S. than in Australia.

Warning travelers of the potential for violence, the alert notes that widespread protests and demonstrations have occurred across the U.S. since May, some of which are still continue.

The department also mentions that the election could lead to increased terrorism-related activity.

“The US has a heightened risk of terrorist attacks,” the alert continues. “Terrorists may use vehicles, knives, homemade bombs, and poisons or toxins. Be alert, particularly in public places and at events.”

The Australian travel warning comes as many U.S. cities have proactively started preparing for civil unrest surrounding Election Day.

--Updated on Nov. 4 at 1:58 p.m.