The U.S. State Department on Thursday lifted the level 4 health advisory that advised Americans to avoid international travel in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With health and safety conditions improving in some countries and potentially deteriorating in others, the Department is returning to our previous system of country-specific levels of travel advice (with Levels from 1-4 depending on country-specific conditions),” the Department of State said in a statement. That is designed with the intention of “[giving] travelers detailed and actionable information to make informed travel decisions,” the agency wrote.
The move will also provide Americans with “more detailed information about the current status in each country,” said the State Department.
Americans should, however, still exercise caution when traveling outside the United States due to the unpredictable nature of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, a novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
The previous advisory has been in place since mid-March.
But dozens of countries remain under the State Department’s Level 4 travel advisory for a wide berth of issues including the CCP virus, terrorism, crime, and other outstanding issues.
Meanwhile, a number of countries have restricted travel from the United States due to the number of virus cases being reported in the country. Canada and the European Union have imposed strict restrictions.
Several areas in the Caribbean and Mexico are welcoming guests and American tourists again as airlines add flights. United Airlines said last Friday it is adding flights to the island of St. Thomas as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Earlier Thursday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised its travel guidance, saying the changes were driven by how the virus was spreading in different places and how well the public health and health care systems were functioning in dealing with new cases.
Seven places, including Thailand, Fiji, and New Zealand, are in a low-risk group, according to the CDC, although officials there advised that certain people, such as older adults and those with certain underlying medical conditions, talk to their doctors before making the trip. For more than a dozen other locations, it had no precautions. Taiwan, Greenland, and Laos are on that list.
The CDC, however, is continuing to advise against nonessential travel to more than 200 other international locations.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.