As a US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria continues to gain ground, a new travel advisory is setting off a debate about what will happen to Americans traveling to and from the Middle East and beyond.
Key points:A ban on travel from the Gulf of Aden, Yemen, would remain in place for the foreseeable futureThe United States says the move is a step in the right directionBut there are concerns the move could lead to a backlash from countries and people who have concerns about the security of the US in the regionThe UAE and Oman have both issued travel advisories for citizens of the Gulf countries.
However, they have not yet said when the ban would be lifted.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Australia will not allow its citizens to travel to the Gulf for the next two months, despite warnings from the US.
He has said the decision will be made by the US and that the ban is not a “one-off”.
The US has imposed restrictions on the entry of certain countries from its southern border, including the US Virgin Islands, which is a US territory.
In a statement, the US State Department said it was working closely with UAE and other countries to strengthen travel restrictions to ensure that Americans are safe.
“The US will continue to review the security situation in the Gulf region and will not reopen our borders until we see a change in the threat,” the statement said.
Morrison has repeatedly said the US is not looking to impose a travel ban.
But he also has previously said the ban should be extended for the coming weeks.
The United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Norway have also announced travel advisors.
A UK government source told News.co.uk the country’s travel advisory would remain for the remainder of the month.
Australia’s travel warning has been extended to Monday, but will not be lifted until Tuesday.
“The Australian Government remains committed to ensuring our citizens are safe and are able to travel,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
Malaysia’s Ministry of Home Affairs has said travel warnings have also been extended.
And the UAE has said it will not lift the travel advisory until the US administration “decides how it will proceed with respect to the situation”.
In an interview with CNN on Monday, Mr Morrison said: “We are looking to work with the US to get the right solution in place, to get our people back home and to keep the people of the United Kingdom safe.”
“That is what we are doing with our foreign ministers in the United Arab Emirates, and we are looking at what the US can do with respect the situation in Saudi Arabia and other parts of the region.
We have had several requests for the US authorities to do that.”
But the US Government has not been forthcoming.
If there is any new information, we will release it.
“Mr Morrison also said Australia had offered to pay $2 million to any country that lifted its travel warnings.
Despite the warnings from Washington, US President Donald Trump is unlikely to act on the warnings, with a number of senior US lawmakers warning the ban could lead countries to tighten their borders in the US-dominated region.
The UAE has been criticised for allowing IS fighters to slip across its territory, even as its security forces face a series of internal and external attacks.
Meanwhile, Oman has banned its citizens from entering the country.