The United States will expand the “do not travel” recommendations to 80% of the world’s countries due to the coronavirus pandemic. The list currently includes 34 nations, but another 100 would be added below level 4 to reflect an adjustment to the system based on epidemiological assessments.
The State Department said Monday it would recommend “no travel” to 80% of countries around the world, citing the “extraordinary threat to travelers” of the COVID-19 epidemic.
The foreign relations authorities had already classified 34 of the nearly 200 countries as “Level 4: Do not travel”, including places such as Chad, Kosovo, Kenya, Brazil, Argentina, Haiti, Mozambique, Russia, and Tanzania.
The Department said in a statement. The update will significantly increase the number of countries in Tier 4: no travel. In about 80 percent of the world’s countries, the Department said in a statement. Reaching 80% would mean adding almost 130 countries.
The State Department said the move does not mean reviewing the current health situation in some countries but reflects adjustments to the State Department’s travel advisory system to build more existing epidemiological evaluations (of the Centers Disease Control and Prevention).
Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, most Americans were already barred from traveling to Europe. Washington has banned all non-US citizens who have recently arrived in Europe, China, Brazil, Iran, and South Africa.
The White House has not given a deadline on when it could ease those restrictions.
Asked for comment on the State Department announcement, Airlines for America, a trade group representing America’s major airlines, said that “the United States airline industry has been a strong advocate for the development of a data and risk-based roadmap to restore international travel.” The group added that it continues to “urge the federal government to transparently establish criteria – including clear metrics, benchmarks, and a timetable – to reopen international markets.”
The CDC did not immediately comment.
Earlier this month, the CDC said that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 could safely travel within the United States at “low risk,” but CDC Director Rochelle Walensky advised Americans against doing so because of the high numbers of coronavirus cases across the country.