US shutdown prompts Germany, UK to issue ‘travel warning’
Zee Media Bureau
Washington: Among the first visible impacts of the US government shutdown on foreign nations, Germany and the United Kingdom issued ‘travel advisory’ for America, warning the travellers of delays at immigration and closure of famous tourist sites, reports said Thursday.
Warning its citizens in wake of what Germany calls ‘the Verwaltungsstillstan’, that means the US government shutdown, the advisory suggested that the American tour might not turn out to be worthwhile as the tourists could have to wait longer at immigration.
The advisory also informed that as non-essential services in the US were disrupted because of the shutdown, the main tourist attractions like the monuments, national parks and the museums would be closed.
A notice posted on the website of German Foreign ministry said, "Air traffic controllers of the FAA aren`t affected, and Customs and Security operations at US airports are operating normally… But travelers should in any event expect longer wait times at passport control."
The advisory added that the processing of visa applications also might take longer resulting in delays.
The UK also issued similar travel warnings to its countrymen, cautioning against the delays even if "Air traffic control, security and immigration processes are not currently expected to be disrupted”,
The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) also warned British tourists that they were unlikely to receive a refund on their holidays unless a “significant part” of their trip has been affected by closures as a result of the US shutdown, reported the Daily Mail.
The UK and Germany contribute to the maximum number of tourists visiting the US.
According to the US Commerce Department statistics, Britons topped the number of travelers visiting US, followed by the Germans, said a report.
The US government was shutdown on Monday midnight after the Congress failed to reach an agreement on the spending bill due to rift over Obamacare.
As the US government shutdown entered third day on Thursday, there was no solution in sight even after President Barack Obama met Congressional leaders at White House and made it clear that he won’t negotiate until the government is reopened and the debt ceiling increased.