Travel warnings due to terrorism in India, protests in Indonesia

Peter Terlato 3 November 2016

India traveller Taj Mahal

Australian tourists warned to be on alert.

Following the United States government's warning this week of increased threats of terrorism in India, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has updated its travel advice to include a similar alert, while also cautioning travellers about potentially violent protests in Indonesia.

On Tuesday the US government issued a brief security message directed at its citizens travelling to or through India, urging them to "maintain a high level of vigilance and increase their security awareness," particularly in public places such as religious sites, markets and festivals.

This is the first time the US has publicly warned of potential terrorist attacks by Islamic State (ISIS) in India.

Australia's smartraveller website reports that, while the level of advice has not changed, travellers should continue to exercise a high degree of caution in India, while higher levels apply in specific areas.

Travellers should reconsider visiting the cities of Jammu and Srinagar, the north-eastern states of Assam, Nagaland, Tripura and Manipur, as well as Chhattisgarh and the border areas of neighbouring states. Australians are advised to avoid the state of Jammu, Kashmir and the India-Pakistan border.

The government also updated its travel advice for Australians visiting Indonesia.

Heightened security arrangements are anticipated during a major protest in central Jakarta on Friday 4 November. Authorities warn related protests may occur in other cities and travellers should monitor local media and avoid all rallies and gatherings as they have the potential to turn violent with little notice.

While the overall level of advice has not changed, Australians should exercise a high degree of caution in all parts of the country, including the tourist island of Bali.

Earlier this year, Aussie travellers visiting Bali were warned of potential health risks after reports the mosquito-borne Zika virus had spread to parts of Indonesia.

Only a few months ago, terror attacks in the Philippines and bomb explosions in Thailand prompted the Australian government to update its travel advice for these countries.

If you're considering visiting a country against official government advice, find out whether or not your travel insurance covers the destination and compare the best cover options before booking your trip.

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