Venezuela – Level 4: Do Not Travel
Do not travel to Venezuela due to arrest and detention of U.S. citizens without due process or fair trial guarantees, or as a pretext for an illegitimate purpose; crime; civil unrest; poor health infrastructure; kidnapping; and COVID-19.
Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Venezuela due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country, and a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Venezuela due to Health Infrastructure Breakdown. In addition, CDC-compliant testing for COVID-19 is either not available or the results are not reliably available within 3 calendar days of testing. Travelers should expect delays returning to the United States. Visit the Venezuela Affairs Unit’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Venezuela.
Country Summary: On March 11, 2019, the U.S. Department of State announced the withdrawal of diplomatic personnel from U.S. Embassy Caracas. All consular services, routine and emergency, are suspended until further notice. The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Venezuela. U.S. citizens in Venezuela who require consular services should try to leave the country as soon as safely possible and contact a U.S. embassy or consulate in another country.
Violent crimes, such as homicide, armed robbery, kidnapping, and carjacking, are common. Political rallies and demonstrations occur, often with little notice. Demonstrations typically elicit a strong police and security force response that includes the use of tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets against participants. A 2020 United Nations Human Rights Council’s Fact-Finding Mission reported documented human rights abuses attributed to the illegitimate Maduro regime, including torture, extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, and detentions without due process and/or fair trial guarantees or as a pretext for an illegitimate purpose. There are shortages of gasoline, food, electricity, water, medicine, and medical supplies throughout much of Venezuela. The CDC issued a Level 3 ‘Avoid Nonessential Travel’ notice on September 30, 2020 due to inadequate healthcare and the breakdown of the medical infrastructure in Venezuela.
Regime-aligned security forces have detained U.S. citizens for long periods. The illegitimate Maduro regime does not notify the U.S. government of the detention of U.S. citizens and the U.S. government is not granted access to those U.S. citizens.
Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of Venezuela, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For more information, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices. This flight prohibition can make emergency medical evacuation flights between the United States and Venezuela difficult or impractical.
Read the country information page.
If you decide to travel to Venezuela:
- See the Venezuela Affairs Unit’s webpage regarding COVID-19.
- Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel during COVID-19.
- Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
- Do not travel between cities after dark.
- Avoid travel between Simón Bolívar International Airport and Caracas at night.
- Do not take unregulated taxis from Simón Bolívar International Airport, and avoid ATMs in this area.
- Avoid demonstrations.
- Bring a sufficient supply of over-the-counter and prescription medicines.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Crime and Safety Report for Venezuela.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
- Be prepared for an indefinite stay as there are limited international flights into or out of Venezuela and the Maduro regime has, at times, blocked U.S. persons’ access to departing flights.
- Be prepared for indefinite arbitrary detention on specious charges without consular access.
Last Update: Reissued after periodic review with updates to the country summary and COVID-19 information.