Yesterday, the US Department of State published the latest changes to its travel advisory notices, which saw changes to the warning status of countries such a Canada, Germany and several others. Designed to keep American travelers aware of potential issues they may face when traveling abroad, the travel advisory notices have been diligently updated throughout the pandemic, as the government reacts to changes in the Covid-19 situation and other threats around the world.
Whilst updates to travel advisory notices are not legally binding and cannot prevent people from traveling, they follow a trend of other news stories that suggest Americans may be better off staying home for the time being, as the pandemic seems to be worsening once more thanks to the rapid spread of the Delta variant. Here’s a look at the most recent travel advisory updates, and a reminder of how they are calculated.
Level 4 Updates – Information For Travelers
In terms of the US’s travel advisory notices, “Level 4” is the highest level a country can attain. Travelers are advised not to travel to countries that reach Level 4 due to the risks they may encounter when doing so, which could range from threats such as terrorism to high levels of Covid-19. In the latest updates to the travel advisory system, a total of seven countries received updates Level 4 travel warnings – Switzerland, Saint Lucia, Oman, North Macedonia, Laos, Estonia and Azerbaijan.
For most of the newly-updated Level 4 countries, the sole factor behind their severe warning level is Covid-19 – a recurring theme in other recent updates. Others, such as Oman and Azerbaijan, list concerns about terrorism as other factors that have contributed to their high advisory level. Switzerland, Saint Lucia, North Macedonia, Estonia and Azerbaijan have also received Level 4 Travel Health Notice from the CDC, indicating there have been more than 500 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days. Oman has a Level 3 Travel Health Notice, whilst Laos has not been issued a Travel Health Notice due to unknown levels of Covid-19 in the country.
Level 3 Updates – Information For Travelers
As well as issuing several renewed Level 4 travel advisories, 12 countries were also given renewed Level 3 status – including some destinations that are very popular for American travelers. The 12 countries with updated Level 3 travel notices are Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Namibia, Moldova, Indonesia, Germany, Cote d’Ivoire, Canada, Brunei, Bermuda and Bahrain.
As was the case with the Level 4 countries, the primary concern behind the updates is Covid-19, though some country’s pages also ask travelers to be aware of the threat of crime, terrorism and unresolved conflict. Most of the countries also carry a Level 3 Travel Health Notice from the CDC, indicating they have registered between 100 and 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the previous 28 days. As Level 3 countries, the US government is asking travelers to reconsider travel to these destinations.
Canada’s inclusion as a Level 3 country could deter American travelers from visiting their Northern neighbors even further. The US has recently extended the closure of their land border with Canada and Mexico for another month, forcing travelers to enter the two countries by air instead.
There were also two Level 2 updates announced yesterday by the US government as well. Both Romania and Angola were handed Level 2 status, advising travelers to exercise extreme caution when visiting.
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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