The travel advisory which had been put in place for 5 months, advising against international travel, has been lifted by the US State Department.
In a news release on Thursday, the state agency said it had coordinated the lifting of the travel advisory the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They had issued the Advisory on March 19, 2020, at the highest threat alert level-4. The State Department noted on the revised travel advisory that health and safety conditions had improved in some countries while others had the potential of deteriorating. The state agency has returned to the previous system of having a country-specific travel advisory. They argued that this would provide travelers with more information that was detailed and actionable. To help them make informed travel decisions, the customary travel levels 1 through 4 threat advisories, which were provided for individual countries, provided more detailed information.
Croatia and Turkey are the only European nations that are accepting American travelers after Europe opened up its borders for international travel.
The State Agency urged American travelers to exercise caution whenever they travel out of the U.S because of the unpredictable nature of the Covid-19 pandemic. Countries that had locked down their borders like Germany and Singapore when they had few cases of COVID-19 experienced a surge in cases after reopening. Countries like New Zealand that followed stringent measures like wearing face masks, social distancing and quarantine of infected individuals have been able to keep their infections low.
The State Department has designated a list of 50 countries into a do-not travel category due to their level-4 COVID-19 threat as of Thursday. This list includes countries such as Brazil, India, and Russia, which have had a high number of Covid-19 cases. The state department has urged travelers to reconsider their travel plans to countries that have a level-3 threat category relating to Corona Virus and other safety concerns. The CDC has which has a travel notice system, has advised against non-essential travel.
The state department is partnering with the CDC and working with other agencies and is closely monitoring the health and safety conditions across the world. They will be regularly updated and put out destination-specific advice for American travelers as conditions develop around the globe.
Where can Americans travel?
Well, the list of places to go is not that extensive, with a few places in the Caribbean and Mexico opening up to tourists and drawing Americans upon resumption of air travel. Americans can also travel to Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, and San Juan. The Bahamas which is popular with American travelers had initially said it would open its borders on 1st July. They changed their stance following a rise in Covid-19 cases in the USA. The Bahamas will only allow American travelers once they have tested negative for Covid-19 and quarantined for 14 days before mingling with the local population. Croatia and Turkey are the only European nations that are accepting American travelers after Europe opened up its borders for international travel. Canada’s border remains closed and only accepts essential travel to America.
Before traveling, you should consider that when the U.S issued its travel advisory there were only 380,000 Covid-19 cases worldwide. The John Hopkins data center shows that there are 18.9 million cases of which 4.9 million cases are in America.
Written by contributor Victor Kanake. Source: USA Today