by Kaylee Greenlee
The State Department is expanding the “Do Not Travel” guidelines for U.S. citizens to include nearly 80% of countries because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency announced Monday.
The travel advisories will be updated to align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) health notices as travelers are at risk because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the State Department said in a statement.
“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,” the department said in a statement.
The State Department is adding 80% of countries to its "Do Not Travel" list — jumping from 34 to about 130.
It says the change is to better match CDC assessments. The WHO has warned global cases are "approaching the highest rate of infection" since the pandemic started. pic.twitter.com/ZztEOnebVh
— AJ+ (@ajplus) April 20, 2021
The update is meant to restructure State Department guidelines to mirror those of the CDC, not as a review of the health situations in other countries, the department said in a statement. The department will consider the availability of in-country testing and restrictions against U.S. citizens when issuing travel advisories.
“Globally, the number of new cases per week has nearly doubled over the past two months,” The World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement Friday. “This is approaching the highest rate of infection that we have seen so far during the pandemic.”
Some countries are experiencing an increase in positive cases despite previously containing widespread transmission, according to the WHO.
Listing 80% of all countries would mean declaring nearly 130 nations as a Level 4 risk, Reuters reported. Around 34 of the countries already included on the list are Russia, Kenya, Brazil, Haiti and Argentina.
Nearly all non-citizens with recent travel to Europe, China, Brazil, Iran and South Africa are not allowed to enter the U.S. and most European countries won’t receive American travelers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Reuters reported.
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Kaylee Greenlee is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.