The State Department will update its travel advisories to the highest level for some 80% of the world’s countries, aligning its guidance with that of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reflect the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose unprecedented risks to travelers,” the State Department said in a statement on Monday. “In light of those risks, the Department of State strongly recommends U.S. citizens reconsider all travel abroad.”
The State Department said the shift would result in a “significant increase” in the number of countries designed Level 4: Do Not Travel. Many countries are currently listed as Level 2 or Level 3, with travelers urged to “exercise increased caution” or “reconsider travel,” respectively.
The Associated Press notes that guidance will be released for each country individually over the coming week. It wasn’t immediately clear which countries would be given the highest travel advisory designation.
The warnings come amid signs of good news in the United States. The CDC says more than 132 million Americans have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. That’s more than half of all adults in the country.
President Joe Biden said Monday that every adult was now eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine, meeting his pledge to make the inoculations widely available.
The CDC has warned travelers that even if they are fully vaccinated, there is still a risk that Americans could contract COVID-19, particularly with the rise of troubling new variants.
“The COVID-19 situation, including the spread of new or concerning variants differs from country to country, and even fully vaccinated travelers need to pay close attention to the situation at their destination before traveling,” the CDC says on its website. “Do not travel internationally until you are fully vaccinated.”
A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus