World The Countries Left Off the 'Do Not Travel' Advisory List for Americans
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Australia was once the envy of the world by almost completely eradicating the virus after swiftly shutting the borders and introducing a series of Covid-safe restrictions. There have been 29,437 just Covid infections across the country and 910 total deaths - a tiny fraction of the death rate in other nations. Among those tough stances taken to control the virus spread was a ban on almost all outward travel, with special permission required and rarely granted.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, this week over 100 countries and other areas have been added to the U.S. State Department's "Level 4: Do Not Travel" category, the department's "highest advisory level due to greater likelihood of life-threatening risks."
That leaves around 50 countries in the lower-level categories, with only Bhutan currently at Level 1, the lowest advisory level where travelers are told to "exercise normal precautions."
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There are 15 countries in the Level 2 category where Americans are told to "exercise increased caution," while 35 countries come with a Level 3 warning advising travelers to "reconsider travel."
Speaking to Newsweek, a State Department official said: "We believe the updated framework will help Americans make better-informed decisions about the safety of international travel. We continue to strongly recommend U.S. citizens reconsider all travel abroad, and postpone their trips if possible.
"There are currently no restrictions other than travel to North Korea or Cuba in place for U.S. citizens' travel abroad, but the State Department advises against travel to countries with a Travel Advisory of Level 4 as a matter of safety and security. If a U.S. citizen decides to travel there anyway, we strongly urge them to read our information on high-risk travel and heed our advice on how to prepare," the official told Newsweek.
'Avoid 80% of countries' because of pandemic - US
Coronavirus continues to pose "unprecedented risks to travellers", the US state department says.In a note to the media about its updated travel guidance, it said the pandemic continued to "pose unprecedented risks to travellers".
The department's latest update was made in a bid to "better reflect the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's () science-based Travel Health Notices that outline current issues affecting travelers' health," according to a statement Monday from the department.
The update would result in around 80 percent of countries worldwide falling in the Level 4 category, according to the statement.
As of Thursday, around 150 of the nearly 200 countries and other areas listed on the department's website, have been placed in the Level 4 category, marking a significant rise from the 34 that had previously been put on the list.
Below we take a closer look at the countries that currently do not fall in the "Level 4: Do Not Travel" category, listed in alphabetical order within each list.
See the department's website for the latest update of the advisory level categories.
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Countries at Level 1 - Exercise Normal Precautions
The department explains: "This is the lowest advisory level for safety and security risk. There is some risk in any international travel. Conditions in other countries may differ from those in the United States and may change at any time."
Countries at Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution
The department advises: "Be aware of heightened risks to safety and security," for countries with a Level 2 warning. "Conditions in any country may change at any time," it adds.
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
Countries at Level 3: Reconsider Travel
Travelers are advised to "avoid travel due to serious risks to safety and security," for countries in the Level 3 category. "Conditions in any country may change at any time," the department says.
- El Salvador
- Equatorial Guinea
- French Polynesia
- Marshall Islands
- New Zealand
- Sierra Leone
- Sint Maarten
- The Gambia
Territories and regions with a Level 2 or 3 warning
- Anguilla (Level 3)
- British Virgin Islands (Level 3)
- Cayman Islands (Level 3)
- Hong Kong (Level 3)
- Micronesia (Level 3)
- Montserrat (Level 2)
- New Caledonia (Level 3)
The wider picture
Coronavirus has infected more than 143.9 million people, including more than 31.8 million in the U.S., since it was first reported in Wuhan, China.
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The former congresswoman called on Americans to "not allow ourselves to be led down the dark, divisive path of racialism and hate."Gabbard ran for the Democratic Party's 2020 presidential nomination, campaigning largely on bringing an end to America's forever wars. She also regularly criticized the mainstream media and "establishment" politicians. The former Democratic lawmaker served in Congress from 2013 until January of this year. She announced in October 2019 that she would not seek reelection to the House of Representatives as she continued her ultimately unsuccessful campaign for president.
More than 3 million people have died worldwide and more than 82.5 million have recovered as of Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The graphic below, produced by research provider Statista, shows the total number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered per 100 people across different countries.
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Reluctance to get vaccinated is concentrated among young conservatives, who are skeptical of the pandemic’s harms.The researchers found widespread hesitation. Nearly two-thirds of Americans were unwilling to receive a shot. But those qualms were relatively evenly distributed in the population. Older people were more willing to get the vaccine than younger ones, and white and Latino people (about 37 percent each) were more willing than Black people (25 percent). Democrats (39.6 percent) were more willing than Republicans (32.2 percent), but the spread was small.