The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new travel guidelines this week for over 110 countries and territories, Reuters reported.
The decision comes just ahead of the Tokoyo Olympics set for July in Japan, one of the countries on the CDC’s list of new travel guidelines.
The CDC confirmed on Tuesday that 61 countries were lowered from its highest Level 4 rating to recommending travel for fully vaccinated people.
What are some of the countries that CDC eased travel guidelines on?
Fifty countries and territories have been lowered from the CDC’s ratings of Level 2 to Level 1.
Countries ranked lowest for COVID-19 risks according to the agency include Singapore, Israel, South Korea, Iceland, Belize, and Albania, according to Reuters.
Those ranked Level 3 by the CDC include Ecuador, South Africa, Philippines, France, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, Honduras, Canada, and Switzerland.
The State Department on Tuesday lowered its ratings on over 90 countries and territories, including Indonesia, Jordan, Libya, Panama, Poland, Denmark, and Malaysia.
The CDC also changed its rating for the US to Level 3 from Level 4.
Why did the CDC ease travel guidelines?
The agency said that it made its decision after revising its criteria for travel health notices.
The CDC changed its criteria for Level 4 rating, which recommends to “avoid all travel.”
This Level 4 recommendation changed from 100 Covid cases per 100,000 to 500 cases per 100,000, according to Reuters.
The agency also said that it gave countries lower ratings “because of the criteria changes or because their outbreaks are better controlled.”
It expects more countries to be placed under lower travel ratings as they prove to have less Covid-19 risks.
How are travel guidelines changing from now forward?
Even though the CDC lowered its ratings on some countries for demonstrating that they have low infection rates, the US still places many nations under strict travel restrictions.
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The CDC director Rochelle Wallensky commented on the issue.
Wallensky told Reuters that this issue is subject to an “interagency conversation, and we are looking at the data in real time as to how we should move forward with that.”
The US has reportedly been in talks with Canada and Mexico to lift or revise travel restrictions placed at US borders, according to Reuters.