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U.S. CDC to shrink COVID-19 int’l travel avoidance list -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Air travelers wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic walk in JetBlue Terminal 5 at JFK International Airport, New York. This was on November 16, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

By David Shepardson

(Reuters] -The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Wednesday that they will be revising their COVID-19 recommendations for travel to international destinations and reducing the number of countries it recommends avoiding.

About 90 countries and regions, including most of Europe, Brazil, Turkey, Russia, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Israel and Australia are currently rated by CDC as “Level 4: Very High” and the CDC recommends Americans, even if vaccinated, to avoid travel to those countries.

The CDC stated that the new system would reserve Level 4 travel notices in special situations, including rapidly escalating cases or high case numbers. It will go into effect Monday.

U.S. Travel, an industry association, urged CDC to eliminate “avoid travel” advisories for everyone vaccinated and urged Biden’s administration to prevent future “use of travel restrictions from certain countries.”

It was also stated in the letter that Americans shouldn’t be dissuaded to travel to countries with COVID-19 rates comparable to or below those in the U.S.

In recent weeks, the CDC has removed a variety of countries from its “Level 4” rating, including Saudi Arabia and Myanmar.

Biden has been pressed by airlines and travel organizations to remove the negative COVID test requirement for international travelers. This is similar to what other countries have done.

Airline claims that some Americans are dissuaded from traveling internationally because of international testing requirements and the risk of getting COVID. The issue is being reviewed by the Administration, however no change has been made by health officials.