Many are hoping for the resumption of international travel. However, US State Department expanded its Level 4: Do Not Travel guidance list. The initial Level 4: Do Not Travel guidance list used to be just 34 countries including Argentina, Kenya, Russia, and Tanzania. But this time around, 130 other countries will be added.
This will comprise 80% of countries worldwide. US State Department cited “unprecedented risk to travelers” from COVID19 as their reason to expand the list. For now, we still don’t know the specific countries on the list. The state department will issue individual guidance for each country by next week.
Apart from the number of cases in the country, the US State Department also considers the availability of local testing and treatment facilities.
There is no global advisory warning against international travel since August in the US. Former President Donald Trump revoked any international travel advisory.
International Travel Will Have to Wait
Because of the US vaccination rollout where millions of Americans have already been vaccinated, domestic travel is already growing. Airlines are optimistic with their numbers. Some even invited furloughed pilots and staff to come back to work.
While there’s progress in domestic travel, things are not looking up for international travel. Europe is currently not open to US travelers. Also, non-US citizens with recent travels to China, Europe, Brazil, and South Africa are barred from entering the country.
Though more than 212 million doses have been administered in the US, health officials fear that vaccines might not work as effectively against new variants. According to the state department, “the COVID19 pandemic continues to pose unprecedented risks to travelers”.
What’s the state department’s take on the remaining 20% of countries not on the list? The state department also said that US citizens should “reconsider all travel abroad”. If you are planning to travel abroad, the state department wants you to rethink your decision and just stay in the US if it isn’t essential.
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