U.S. Updates Travel Recommendations on 100+ Countries

Singapore has entered the low-risk group for Covid-19 transmission, while Indonesia and the Philippines are no longer categorized as “very high risk.”

A view of Atlanta, Georgia, where the CDC is headquartered. (Photo: Ibuki Tsubo/Unsplash)

Earlier this week, the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) downgraded its warnings discouraging international travel to more than 110 countries and territories around the world. No less than 61 places were moved from the top rating of Level 4, which indicates a “very high” risk of Covid-19 transmission. However, the agency maintains its broad advice for those keen to venture beyond America’s borders: “Do not travel internationally until you are fully vaccinated. If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow CDC’s international travel recommendations for unvaccinated people.”

More than a dozen destinations in the Asia-Pacific region are now classified as Level 1, denoting low-risk places. These include Australia, Brunei, (Mainland) China, Hong Kong, Laos, New Zealand, Palau, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam. It remains to be seen whether Taiwan will be rated as Level 2 (moderate risk) given the fresh outbreak of the more infectious Alpha variant on the island.

Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand currently fall under Level 3, the high-risk category. The CDC says unvaccinated citizens should avoid all nonessential travel to these countries. Curiously, this same rating has been given to Canada and the United Kingdom, where infection rates are much lower as their vaccine rollouts are in far more advanced stages.

Meanwhile, Americans are being urged to avoid all travel to countries such as India, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka; all five are classed under Level 4. Additional travel restrictions have also been imposed in a bid to keep out newer coronavirus variants: the U.S. currently bans non-citizens who have set foot in Brazil, China, the European Schengen Area, India, Iran, Ireland, South Africa, or the U.K. within 14 days of entry.

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