Coronavirus: State Department warns Americans not to travel

By Abigail Williams

The U.S. State Department raised the global travel advisory Thursday to Level 4: Do Not Travel, citing the coronavirus pandemic.

Americans should consider returning to the U.S. immediately through whatever commercial means are available, the advisory warned. The guidance comes as Americans traveling abroad struggle to make their way home amid widespread border closures and nationwide quarantines as countries scramble to contain the outbreak.

"If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite timeframe," the advisory said.

Politico first reported the change.

Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

It was less than a week ago that the State Department raised the global travel advisory to level 3, Reconsider Travel.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Sean Hannity of Fox News on Wednesday that the State Department is doing everything it can to protect American citizens all across the world.

"We know of students that are in Peru, some other travelers that are there, as well. There are other countries, too, where those countries have shut down their airports. We are working to try and solve problems for each of those American citizens," Pompeo said. "We're going to do everything we can to get every American home safely."

The State Department has not yet responded to NBC News' request for comment.

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