As the United States continues to monitor the both the political and Covid-19 situations in every country around the world, yesterday it moved to update the travel advisories for Ireland, South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Cyprus, Barbados and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
The new updates feature categorizations from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alongside further information about the Covid-19 restrictions and operations for each of the countries listed above. Here’s a reminder of the travel advisory system, and what the new updates are.
US Travel Advisories – What Should Travelers Know?
Travel advisories are provided by the United States Department of State, the executive department of the US responsible for foreign policy and international relations. They aim to tell travelers whether or not it is safe to travel to a certain country. The system as we know it has been around since January 2018, when the department began to give a specific, dedicated travel advisory for each country and re-vamped its levels system.
The US travel advisory system gives each country a level that pertains to the travel safety level of that country. There are currently four levels, which increase as a result of the level of safety and security risk in any given country. The levels are:
- Level 1 — Blue – Exercise Normal Precautions
- Level 2 — Yellow – Exercise Increased Caution
- Level 3 — Orange – Reconsider Travel
- Level 4 — Red – Do Not Travel
At present, 28 countries are listed as Level 4, whilst only four (Macau, Taiwan, New Zealand and Singapore) currently have Level 1 status.
Travel Advisory Updates – What Travelers Should Know
The latest updates to the travel advisory system all affect Level 3 countries – Ireland, South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Cyprus, Barbados and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – and are related to Covid-19.
Whilst designated as a Level 3 country, the CDC has given South Africa a Level 4 Travel Health Notice. According to the CDC, this notice means that South Africa has a “very high” level of Covid-19. The country has a 7-day daily case average of 13,853, a figure that has risen sharply following the discovery of a more easily transmitted strain of Covid-19 in the country. The US is not alone in its recommendation not to travel to South Africa, as many countries around the world block flights from the country in an effort not to import the country’s strain across their borders.
Ireland, Cyprus, and Barbados also have Level 3 travel advisories and a Level 4 Travel Health Notice from the CDC, indicating very high levels of Covid-19 in the countries. Ireland is currently under its third strict lockdown as it struggles to contain the spread of Covid-19. The lockdown has seen Irish citizens encouraged to work from home, whilst only essential businesses open and bars and restaurants open only for take-out orders.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines also has a Level 3 travel advisory notice and a Level 3 Travel Health Notice from the CDC, which means the level of Covid-19 in the country is high.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories