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Bahrain Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

May 13, 2011

The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens that the authorized voluntary departure status for the U.S. Embassy has been lifted as of May 13, 2011, due to continuing security improvements in Bahrain. The Embassy is open and operating normally. The potential for spontaneous civil and political unrest continues, and U.S. citizens travelling to Bahrain should be aware of the following information. This Travel Alert supersedes the Travel Warning dated April 12, 2011, notes the lifting of Authorized Departure for U.S. Embassy personnel, and updates information on the security situation.

All travelers to Bahrain face increased scrutiny from Bahraini authorities, and the Government of Bahrain has refused to allow some U.S. citizens permission to enter Bahrain. The airport remains open and operational.

With an increased security presence on the streets, many shops and businesses have reopened, and a semblance of normalcy has returned to day-to-day life. However, active security operations continue in various parts of the country. Government-established checkpoints are manned by police and/or soldiers armed with lethal weapons. An armed government presence, including tanks and armored personnel carriers, remains on the streets of Manama and surrounding areas. Spontaneous demonstrations occur in some neighborhoods, and often result in violent clashes between security forces and demonstrators; travel in and around Bahrain could become dangerous without advance warning.

The U.S. Embassy restricts the travel of its employees during some hours of the night, and advises all U.S. citizens to do the same. We continue to urge U.S. citizens to follow the latest security guidance and to avoid travel in specific parts of Bahrain in order to avoid planned demonstrations. Please check our Demonstration Notices for the latest information on demonstrations and security guidance.

There are no indications that Westerners or U.S. citizens are being threatened or targeted, but U.S. citizens are urged to remain alert to local security developments and to be vigilant regarding their personal security. The Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all demonstrations, as even peaceful ones can quickly become unruly and a foreigner could become a target of harassment or worse.

The U.S. Embassy in Manama can be reached at (973) 1724-2700; the after-hours emergency number is (973) 1724-2957; the fax number is (973) 1725-6242. Demonstration Notices can be found on the Embassy’s website.

U.S. citizens in Bahrain are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly at the U.S. Embassy. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.

Updated information on travel and security in Bahrain may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. For further information, please consult the Country Specific Information for Bahrain, as well as the Worldwide Caution. You can also stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which also contains current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on facebook as well.

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