(Reuters) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Monday it had dropped its COVID-19 “Do Not Travel” recommendations for about 90 international destinations.
Last week, the CDC said it was revising its travel recommendations and said it would reserve its Level 4 travel health advisories “for special circumstances, such as a rapidly increasing case trajectory or a extremely high number of cases”.
Countries and other regions have fallen to “Tier 3: High”, which still discourages travel by unvaccinated Americans, including the United Kingdom, France, Israel, Turkey, Australia, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain and Russia. .
Also lowered are Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Central African Republic, Chile, Czech Republic, Jordan, Lebanon, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Somalia, Uruguay and Vietnam.
The CDC does not currently list any countries at “Tier 4” which it has renamed “Special Circumstances/Do Not Travel”.
The US State Department said last week it was also dramatically reducing “do not travel” advisories for international destinations.
Of the roughly 215 countries and territories it assesses, the department currently lists nearly 120 as “Level Four: Do Not Travel,” including much of Europe, Japan, Israel and Russia.
The department said last week that its update scheduled for later Monday “will leave about 10% of all travel advisories at Level 4,” including all risk factors, not just COVID.
“We believe the updated framework will help American citizens make more informed decisions about international travel security,” he said in a statement.
Airlines and other travel groups have pressured the Biden administration to lift pre-departure COVID negative testing requirements for international travelers, as many other countries have done. They also argued that the do not travel advisories were unnecessary and discouraged travel.
Administration officials say the matter has been reviewed, but health officials have not announced any changes.
(Reporting by David Shepardson in Sonoma, California; Editing by Nick Macfie)
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