Since travel has re-opened the CDC has advised travelers to avoid travel to certain countries, but in a dramatic shift they are changing this strategy. The agency has now removed all countries from its “Do Not Travel” list.
Previously the advice was to avoid travel to these countries due to “very high” COVID-19 levels but not any longer. These 89 countries have been dropped from the highest Level 4 designation.
Moving forward the Level 4 designation will only be used for “special circumstances” which can be described as a dangerous spike of cases, infrastructure collapse or a new variant. Level 4 at one point included over 100 countries from around the world, but moving forward there are zero.
Whereas the classifications for Level 4 are changing moving forward, Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 will still be evaluated based on 28-day incidence or case counts.
Level 3 or countries with a “high level of COVID-19” will still be met with warnings to avoid travel if not fully vaccinated, but the warning does not apply to fully vaccinated visitors.
Level 2 countries have “moderate” COVID-19 levels while Level 1 countries have “low” levels and the recommendation is for travelers to be vaccinated before traveling to these countries.
The switch in systems is due in part to create “a more actionable alert so travelers can better understand an urgent concern.
This follows an update just last week of the extension of the federal mask mandate on public transportation (including airplanes) through May 3, which was challenged in federal court in Florida to void the mandate. Some companies have followed suit with the Florida ruling while others are sticking to the federal mandate before further information is given.