US adds 116 countries to its ‘Do not Travel’ advice list

Travelers stand at the check-in lines at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in SeaTac, Washington, USA on December 12, 2021. REUTERS / Lindsey Wasson

The U.S. Department of State this week added at least 116 countries to its “Level Four: Do Not Travel” advisory list, which put the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Israel, Mexico, Germany and others on the list, citing a ‘very high level’ of COVID-19. ”

The Foreign Ministry said on Monday that it would increase the number of countries receiving the highest advisory rating to about 80% of the countries worldwide.

Prior to Tuesday, the Department of Foreign Affairs named 34 of some 200 countries as “Do not travel”. The State Department now lists 150 countries at level four. It did not say when it would complete the updates.

The State Department said Monday that the move does not imply a reassessment of current health situations in some countries, but rather an adjustment in the State Department’s travel advisory system to focus more on the existing epidemiological (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) enable assessments. “

The recommendations are not mandatory and do not prevent Americans from traveling.

Other countries in the “Do not travel” list include Finland, Egypt, Belgium, Turkey, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland and Spain. Some countries like China and Japan remain at level 3: Reconsideration travel. ‘

Most Americans have been prevented from traveling to much of Europe due to COVID-19 restrictions. Washington has banned almost all non-US citizens who have recently been to most of Europe, China, Brazil, Iran and South Africa.

On Tuesday, the United States extended 13-day restrictions by 13 months impeding non-essential travel to its Canadian and Mexican borders.

Nick Calio, who heads Airlines for America, a trade group representing the largest U.S. airline representatives, told a U.S. Senate panel on Wednesday that policymakers need to find a “roadmap” to reopen international travel .

Earlier this month, the CDC said people who are fully vaccinated can travel safely at low risk within the United States, but its director, Rochelle Walensky, discouraged Americans from doing so because of high-level coronavirus cases nationwide.

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