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

Apr 22, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

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.

For more TPG travel news and tips delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our free daily newsletter.

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.

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 photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

The All-New United Quest℠ Card

WELCOME OFFER: Up to 100,000 bonus miles

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,040

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X miles on United® purchases

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80K bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, an additional 20K bonus miles after you spend $10,000 in the first 6 months
  • $250 Annual Fee
  • Earn 3X miles on United® purchases, 2X miles at restaurants, on select streaming services & all other travel, 1X on all other purchases
  • Earn 3X miles on United Airlines purchases
  • Earn 2X miles at restaurants and on select streaming services
  • Earn 2X miles on all other travel
  • Earn 1X mile on all other purchases
  • Each year, receive a $125 credit on United® purchases and two 5k-mile anniversary award flight credits. Terms apply.
Regular APR
16.49% to 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent, Good

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

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.