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US eases travel guidelines on more than 100 countries including itself

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed travel recommendations for more than 100 countries on Monday (Picture: Getty Images)

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has eased travel recommendations for more than 110 countries and territories, including lowering 61 countries from the highest risk category.

Among countries that moved from ‘very high’ risk Level 4 to ‘high’ risk Level 3 for travelers are Canada, Ecuador, France, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey, according to the CDC recommendation posted on Monday. The US also moved from Level 4 to Level 3.

More than 50 other countries and territories were lowered from ‘moderate’ risk Level 2 to ‘low’ risk Level 1. Countries that dropped to Level 2 include Angola, Djibouti, Kenya and Finland. Nations that now sit in the lowest rank for Covid-19 risk include Albania, Belize, Iceland, Israel, Singapore and South Korea.

Meanwhile, Haiti, Nicaragua, North Korea and Uzbekistan were upgraded to Level 4.

The State Department stated it had updated guidelines to mirror a recent update to methodology and that not all ratings were revised due to factors like  ‘commercial flight availability,  restrictions  on US citizen entry and impediments to obtaining Covid test results within three calendar days’, Reuters reported.

Previously, the CDC designated countries as Level 4 if they had 100 or more coronavirus cases per 100,000 people. Now, countries are rated Level 4 if they have 500 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people. Level 3 countries are those with 100 to 500 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people.

Despite relaxing travel recommendations, the CDC maintains that most non-American citizens trying to enter the US from dozens of countries including many just downgraded to Level 3 are still prohibited from entering, if they were ‘physically present’ in those places in the last 14 days. That applies to countries including Brazil, China, India, Iran, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa and the UK.

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