US eases travel guidelines to 61 countries

·1-min read

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has eased its travel recommendations for 61 countries from its highest "Level 4" rating that had discouraged all travel to recommending travel for fully vaccinated individuals, the agency says.

The new ratings, which were not previously reported and posted on a CDC website on Monday, lower 61 countries to "Level 3," including Japan, France, South Africa, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Spain and Italy.

A US State Department official said it was in the process of revising its travel advisory to reflect the CDC changes.

The CDC said the change comes after its revised its criteria for travel health notices.

The CDC said it has also revised its rating for the United States to "Level 3" from "Level 4".

On May 24, the State Department had urged against travel to Japan, citing a new wave of coronavirus cases before the Tokyo Olympics are set to begin July 23.

The CDC said the new criteria for a Level 4 "avoid all travel" recommendation has changed from 100 cases per 100,000 to 500 cases per 100,000.

The CDC added that many countries have lower ratings "because of the criteria changes or because their outbreaks are better controlled".

The CDC added it expects more countries to get lower ratings.

Other countries being lowered to "Level 3" include Honduras, Indonesia, Jordan, Libya, Panama, Poland, Denmark and Malaysia.

Many of the countries that now have lower ratings remain on the US government's list of countries subject to severe travel restrictions - and most have been subject to the restrictions since early 2020.

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