The State Department of US recently announced that it would begin to update its travel advisories to more closely align with those from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a change that will result in a significant increase in the number of countries at ‘Level 4: Do Not Travel’, to approximately 80 percent of the countries worldwide. The US has added about 100 countries since Tuesday to its advisory list of Do Not Travel putting the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Mexico, Germany and others on the list citing a “very high level of COVID-19.”
Before Tuesday, around 34 out of 200 countries were listed out, but now at Level 4 of the list around 131 countries are mentioned. As per reports, the department is still unclear about which countries need to be added to the list, but countries popular with Americans, such as Brazil and Turks and Caicos, have been on the State Department’s highest advisory for months.
“We also consider the strategies other countries have put in place to respond to the pandemic, including restrictions on U.S. citizen entry,” the State Department said. “In those situations, our Travel Advisory would advise U.S. citizens ‘Do Not Travel’ to avoid becoming stranded overseas.”
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: Reconsider Travel.’
Looking at the surge in COVID cases across the globe, the US has already prevented most Americans from travelling to much of Europe. Washington has also barred nearly all non-US citizens who have recently been in most of Europe, China, Brazil, Iran and South Africa.
Apart from this, the US further extended 30 days restrictions in place for 13 months that bar non-essential travel at its Canadian and Mexican borders.
Airlines for America, a trade group representing major U.S. carriers, when asked about the travel advisory changes said that they urge the government to establish well defines criteria including clear metrics, benchmarks, and a timeline for the opening of the international markets in order to establish more transparency.