State Department eases travel advisories for dozens of countries

10 Juin, 2021, 17:11 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Travel Greece

The only European country for which USA travellers are advised to "Exercise Normal Precautions" (Level 1) is Malta, where over 70 per cent of adults have received at least one dose of a vaccine.

However, all air passengers coming to the United States, including citizens and fully vaccinated people, are still required to have a negative Covid-19 test result no more than three days before travel or documentation of recovery from Covid-19 in the past three months before they board a flight to the United States.

The country's COVID-19 fatality count is at 22,064.

New ratings available on the CDC's website show much of the world sits at a Level 3 alert.

Such travel advice has been closely watched for clues on when the United States will end a ban imposed more than a year ago by former president Donald Trump on most visitors from the European Union and Britain. Photo: Getty ImagesWhat is the difference between the two levels?

Airlines and some nations have complained that current travel restrictions to the US are out of step with rising vaccination rates and the reduced threat of contracting COVID-19, and many limits on USA travelers remain in place. Areas under Level 3 are those now reporting 100 to 500 cases per 100,000 residents. Previously, to be categorized as Level 4, a case rate of 100 per 100,000 people was required. The CDC said it expects more countries to get lower, more favourable travel ratings going forward.

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"With decreased infection rates in the United States combined with the administration's goal of having a critical mass of Americans fully vaccinated by July 4th, there is a true near-term opportunity to safely begin to welcome back worldwide visitors".

The CDC said the change came after it revised its criteria for travel health notices. It urges unvaccinated travelers to avoid nonessential travel to those destinations.

The CDC categorizes the United States as a Level 3 country. This puts it on par with South Africa, Iran, most of the Schengen Area, and the UK.

The CDC changes and expected State Department changes do not eliminate any of the travel restrictions now.

It amounted to the first major relaxation of such warnings since the agency slapped a Level 4 travel advisory on the entire globe in March 2020 as the pandemic gained speed.

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