(PatrioticPost.com)- This week, The U.S. State Department announced it would increase its “Do Not Travel” guidance to include roughly 80% of the countries across the world. This decision, the State Department said, was made due to the “unprecedented risk to travelers” from the online pandemic.
In a statement, the department said:
“This update will result in a significant increase in the number of countries at Level 4: Do Not Travel, to approximately 80% of countries worldwide.”
Before this announcement, the State Department already had 34 of roughly 200 countries listed as Level 4: Do Not Travel. That included countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Mozambique, Tanzania, Russia, Haiti, Kenya, Kosovo and Chad.
Increasing the ratio to 80% of all countries would mean that almost 130 countries would be added to that list.
The State Department further said this decision doesn’t imply that they have re-assessed current health situations that are happening in these countries. Rather, it “reflects an adjustment in the State Department’s Travel Advisory system to rely more on (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s) existing epidemiological assessments.”
Before this announcement, Americans were already prohibited from traveling to many countries in Europe because of local COVID-19 restrictions. All non-American citizens who have traveled recently in Iran, South Africa, Brazil, China and most of Europe are currently banned from coming to the United States.
The Biden administration hasn’t made an announcement yet on when those restrictions could be eased.
Airlines for America, a trade group that represents that major carriers in the United States, told CNBC in response to the State Department announcement that:
“The U.S. airline industry has been a strong advocate for the development of a risk-based, data-driven roadmap for restoring international travel.”
The group also added that it continues “to urge the federal government to transparently establish the criteria — including clear metrics, benchmarks and a timeline — for re-opening international markets.”
To this point, officials from the CDC haven’t commented directly on the State Department’s recent announcement.
Earlier in April, the CDC issued guidance that said Americans who were fully vaccinated against the coronavirus could travel safely within the United States. The CDC said this activity would be considered “low risk” for these people.
However, Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC, contradicted that guidance when she discouraged Americans from traveling because of the spread of coronavirus across the country. She said:
“We know that right now we have a surging number of cases. I would advocate against general travel overall. We are not recommending travel at this time, especially for unvaccinated individuals.”
To be considered fully vaccinated, a person must be at least one week removed from the second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Or, they must be at least two weeks removed from receiving the second dose of the Moderna vaccine or from the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
That single-dose vaccine from Johnson & Johnson is still currently on pause as the FDA and CDC investigate a possible link between the vaccine and rare blood clots in women who took the vaccine.