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US State Department Expands Do Not Travel List to 80 Percent of Countries

The United States Department of State announced that the continued risk associated with the coronavirus pandemic has forced the agency to expand its “Do Not Travel” guidance to about 80 percent of countries worldwide.

According to Reuters.com, the State Department already had 34 countries on its “Level 4: Do Not Travel” list, but officials revealed the “unprecedented risk to travelers” from COVID-19 resulted in the latest update, which brings the total to around 80 percent of countries around the world.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

The nations previously on the list included Chad, Kosovo, Kenya, Brazil, Argentina, Haiti, Mozambique, Russia and Tanzania. The State Department is set to add nearly 130 more countries to the travel advisory list.

A statement from the State Department said the changes reflect an adjustment to the agency’s “Travel Advisory system to rely more on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) existing epidemiological assessments.”

The White House provided no timeline for an end to the expanded travel restrictions.

Aviation trade group Airlines for America (A4A) told Reuters “the U.S. airline industry has been a strong advocate for the development of a risk-based, data-driven roadmap for restoring international travel.”

A4A officials also said they continue to “urge the federal government to transparently establish the criteria – including clear metrics, benchmarks, and a timeline – for reopening international markets.”

Earlier this month, the CDC announced that Americans who have received an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine could travel safely within the U.S.

As for international travel, fully vaccinated people will not be required to get a COVID-19 test before travel unless it is required by the destination. The agency also said vaccinated travelers don’t need to self-quarantine after returning to the U.S., unless required by state or local governments.

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