United States Will Boost ‘Do Not Travel’ Warnings To 80% of World
The U.S. State Department said yesterday it will boost its “Do Not Travel” guidance to about 80% of countries worldwide, citing “unprecedented risk to travellers” from the COVID-19 pandemic.
State Department currently lists 34 countries as “Level 4: Do Not Travel,” which includes Chad, Kosovo, Kenya, Brazil, Argentina, Haiti, Mozambique, Russia, and Tanzania.
“This update will result in a significant increase in the number of countries at Level 4: Do Not Travel, to approximately 80% of countries worldwide,” the department said in a statement.
Getting to 80% would imply adding nearly 130 countries.
The State Department said the move does not imply a reassessment of current health situations in some countries, but rather “reflects an adjustment in the State Department’s Travel Advisory system to rely more on (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s) existing epidemiological assessments.”
Most Americans have already been barred from travelling to most of Europe because of COVID-19 restrictions. The U.S. government has barred nearly all foreigners who have recently visited most of Europe, Brazil, Iran, and South Africa.
The White House has not provided a timeline for when it might ease those restrictions.
Asked for comment on the State Department announcement, Airlines for America, a trade group representing major U.S. carriers, said “the U.S. airline industry has been a strong advocate for the development of a risk-based, data-driven roadmap for restoring international travel.”
The group added it continues “to urge the federal government to transparently establish the criteria – including clear metrics, benchmarks, and a timeline – for reopening international markets.”
CDC did not immediately comment.
Earlier this month, the CDC said people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely travel within the United States at “low risk” but CDC Director Rochelle Walensky discouraged Americans from doing so because of high coronavirus cases nationwide.