The US State Department has updated its travel advisory system, listing almost 80% of the world's countries as red or do not travel, following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention given the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, it was announced.
This measure represents a return to old State Department practices. The US has not had a global advisory warning against international travel since August when it was revoked by former President Donald Trump.
The system consists of four categories of destination countries: Blue: Exercise normal precautions; Ocre: Exercise increased caution; Orange: Reconsider travel; Red: Do Not Travel.
This does not imply a reassessment of the current health situation in a given country, but rather reflects an adjustment in the State Department's Travel Advisory system to rely more on CDC's existing epidemiological assessments, the State Department said in a press release, which added that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose unprecedented risks to travellers.
In light of those risks, the Department of State strongly recommends U.S. citizens reconsider all travel abroad, it said. ”As travellers face ongoing risks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of State will begin updating its Travel Advisories this week to better reflect the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) science-based Travel Health Notices that outline current issues affecting travellers' health, the State Department said. Our Advisories also take into account logistical factors, including in-country testing availability and current travel restrictions for U.S. citizens.
As always, we are closely monitoring conditions around the globe, and will regularly update our destination-specific advice to U.S. travellers as conditions evolve, it noted.
When a country is labelled red, US citizens are warned against travelling there for several reasons, which include but are not limited to covid-19. Other motives can be a crime and terrorist activity, as is the case with the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, on its travel advisory page, the CDC warns that international travel poses additional risks and even fully vaccinated travellers are at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading new COVID-19 variants and recommends delaying international travel until you are fully vaccinated.”