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Most of the world's countries added to State Department's 'do not travel' advisory

April 22, 2021
3 min read
Most of the world's countries added to State Department's 'do not travel' advisory
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The U.S. State Department this week added approximately 80% of the world's countries to its highest advisory -- Level 4: Do Not Travel — according to an update on the agency's website.

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The update "reflects an adjustment in our system to give more weight to [the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's] existing assessments," the State Department wrote. However, the agency noted that the update doesn't "necessarily indicate a change to the current health situation" in a given country.

"We updated the COVID-19 framework used to assign COVID-19 Travel Advisory levels to be based primarily on [the] CDC’s science-based data points," the State Department said on its website.

The CDC also has its own travel advisory system, with more than 100 countries on its Level 4: COVID-19 Very High list.

Some notable countries not on the department's highest advisory include Iceland, which is at Level 3, and Belize, Rwanda and Thailand, all at Level 2.

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Several of the countries popular with Americans, such as Brazil, Mexico, the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos, have been on the State Department's highest advisory for months.

"We also consider the strategies other countries have put in place to respond to the pandemic, including restrictions on U.S. citizen entry," the State Department said. "In those situations, our Travel Advisory would advise U.S. citizens ‘Do Not Travel’ to avoid becoming stranded overseas."

The State Department says it still recommends U.S. citizens reconsider traveling abroad, which differs from what the CDC has publicly said about travel. The CDC in early April announced that fully vaccinated Americans can travel at “low-risk” to themselves.

“With millions of Americans getting vaccinated every day, it is important to update the public on the latest science about what fully vaccinated people can do safely, now including guidance on safe travel,” said CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky earlier this month.

“We continue to encourage every American to get vaccinated as soon as it’s their turn, so we can begin to safely take steps back to our everyday lives. Vaccines can help us return to the things we love about life, so we encourage every American to get vaccinated as soon as they have the opportunity.”

But the CDC has also offered conflicting travel guidance. Walensky issued a stark warning in late March, warning Americans to “please limit travel,” and said that travel is helping to spread the coronavirus.

And, despite the new guidance, she again reiterated during a briefing earlier this month that the “CDC is not recommending travel at this time due to the rising number of cases.”

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

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  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023