The U.S. State Department announced on Monday that it will post “Do not Travel” guidance covering 80 percent of countries worldwide because of the coronavirus more than one year after the China-originated virus spread around the world.
These are in addition to the 34 countries out of 200 countries that the State Department already has on the Level Four “Do Not Travel” list. Some of those 34 countries include Chad, Kosovo, Kenya, Brazil, Argentina, Haiti, Mozambique, Russia, and Tanzania.
80 percent represents about 130 countries in all.
Reuters reported on the development:
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) (CDC) existing epidemiological assessments.”
Most Americans were already prevented from traveling to much of Europe because of COVID-19 restrictions. Washington has barred nearly all non-U.S. citizens who have recently been in most of Europe, China, Brazil, Iran and South Africa.
The White House has given no timeline for when it might ease those restrictions.
Reuters reported Airlines for America, a trade group representing major U.S. airlines 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 organization said it continues “to urge the federal government to transparently establish the criteria – including clear metrics, benchmarks, and a timeline – for reopening international markets.”
The CDC has said people who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus can safely travel within the United States at “low risk,” but CDC Director Rochelle Walensky still discourages Americans from traveling.
“We know that right now we have a surging number of cases,” Walensky said on April 2. “I would advocate against general travel overall.”
“We are not recommending travel at this time, especially for unvaccinated individuals,” she said.
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