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Citing “unprecedented risk” from the Covid-19 pandemic, the State Department is urging Americans to reconsider going abroad and is updating its travel advisory to the highest, Level 4 warning for most of the planet.

On Monday, Foggy Bottom announced that it will be updating the travel advisory during the week, to “better reflect the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) science-based Travel Health Notices,” which will result in the number of places at ‘Level 4: Do Not Travel’ increasing to “approximately 80% of countries worldwide.”

The State Department just announced it will issue “Level 4: Do Not Travel” advisories for roughly 80% of countries due to Covid-19 risk and urges U.S. citizens to “reconsider all travel abroad.” pic.twitter.com/5BpCDKOgLc— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) April 19, 2021

The change does not imply a judgment on the current health situation in any given country, the State Department explained, but an “adjustment” in the travel advisory system to “rely more on CDC’s existing epidemiological assessments” and reflect “logistical factors” such as the availability of testing. 

There are currently only 34 countries with a Level 4 travel warning, including war zones such as Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Yemen; US-sanctioned countries like Venezuela, North Korea, Myanmar, Cuba, and Russia; coronavirus-stricken Brazil and Argentina, and a number of African countries.

The updated guidelines seem to be based on the CDC’s advisory published on Monday. Unvaccinated people are advised to delay or cancel any international travel. Americans who have completed immunization with FDA-approved vaccines are still considered “at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading new [Covid-19] variants,” the CDC says.

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