Recognizing the unprecedented risk to travelers from the COVID-19 pandemic, the State Department emphasized the boosting of its 'Do Not Travel guidance' to around 80% of countries around the world.

Based on the State Department's statement, the update is a result of a significant increase in the number of countries at Level 4. These countries are at 'Do Not Travel,' and it is extended to approximately 80% of countries worldwide.

According to Reuters, the State Department already listed 34 out of around 200 countries as 'Level 4: Do Not Travel.' The list currently includes Kosovo, Brazil, Kenya, Chad, Mozambique, Russia, Tanzania, Argentina, and Haiti. Reaching the 80% mark means adding close to 130 countries to the list.

Moreover, the State Department said the move not only reflects an adjustment in the Travel Advisory system of the State Department, but also implies a reassessment of current health situations in some countries. The system currently relies on the existing epidemiological assessments of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In addition, most Americans were already prevented from traveling in most parts of Europe due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. Also, Washington has barred almost all the non-U.S. citizens who have recently been in most of Europe, South Africa, China, Brazil, and Iran.

Meanwhile, the White House has not posted any given timeline as to when the U.S. government will tone down the current restrictions. However, they mentioned that their top priority will be the safety of the American people, CNBC reported.

Furthermore, after the announcement of the State Department, the trade group that represents major U.S. carriers, Airlines for America, expressed their support on the latest move of the State Department. The trade group stated the U.S. airline industry has been a strong advocate for the development of a risk-based, data-driven roadmap for the restoration of international travel.

Also, the trade group mentioned that they continuously urge the federal government in the transparent establishment of the criteria. The said criteria include clear metrics, benchmarks, and a timeline, which are needed to reopen the international markets. The New York Post reported.

But the CDC did not immediately comment on the said move.

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CDC Advises Vs. Travel Especially to the Non-Vaccinated

On the other hand, the CDC announced earlier this month that individuals who are fully vaccinated against coronavirus or COVID-19 can safely travel within the U.S. at low risk. Despite the announcement, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky discouraged Americans from doing even domestic travels due to the rise in coronavirus cases nationwide.

Walensky also emphasized that she advocates the banning of general travel overall. Walensky also pointed out the surging number of coronavirus cases, not only in certain states but also across the U.S.

The CDC director also mentioned that the agency does not recommend individuals to travel during this time, especially those who are not yet vaccinated, as their target herd immunity is not yet established.

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