Breaking: US State Dept. lifts “do not travel” global travel advisory, but COVID-19 is still a worldwide risk

Aug 6, 2020

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The U.S. State Department just revoked the emergency “Level 4: Do Not Travel” global advisory implemented on March 19.

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“With health and safety conditions improving in some countries and potentially deteriorating in others, the Department is returning to our previous system of country-specific levels of travel advice,” the department stated in a press release dated Thursday, Aug. 6. “We continue to recommend U.S. citizens exercise caution when traveling abroad due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic.”

The government directed U.S. travelers to return to its country-by-country guide to assess risk within individual countries. The State Department did not comment on the state of coronavirus cases in the U.S., nor did it offer specific guidance for U.S. travelers on preventing COVID-19 spread abroad.

The State Department previously implemented the unprecedented worldwide advisory in mid-March, right when the pandemic first went viral in the U.S. Around that time, the U.S. also implemented a travel ban against countries that had high rates of COVID-19 cases at the time, including Europe, the U.K. and South Korea. In turn, a number of foreign countries and regions have implemented reciprocal travel bans against U.S. travelers as cases continue to spike across the U.S., even while much of the rest of the world slowly continues to flatten the curve.

Related: Where can Americans travel internationally?

Despite the State Department’s lifted travel advisory, the continued risk of infection remains high in the U.S., and could easily be passed to other countries via air travel. As of today, Aug. 6, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has tallied more than 4.8 million cases and over 157,000 deaths from COVID-19 within U.S. territories, including 53,685 new cases and 1,320 deaths within the last 24 hours alone.

Some states such as New York, as well as cities like Chicago, have levied mandatory quarantines for anyone entering state or city boundaries from high-risk regions that have seen a 10% or higher increase in cases over the past seven rolling days.

Featured photo by Sergey Shik/Shutterstock.

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