April 21. The Biden Administration is taking steps to substantially increase the number of countries on the State Department’s “Do Not Travel List” because of the danger of COVID-19 infections. The CDC continues to urge U.S. citizens to stay home as the pandemic continues to pose “unprecedented risks” around the globe.
The new travel guidelines are intended to curb visits to approximately 80 percent of countries worldwide that the State Department (and CDC) say are experiencing dramatic spikes in cases. The new guidance is expected be released later this week. The latest “Do Not Travel” recommendations come as the coronavirus “continues to pose unprecedented risks to travelers,” according to the State Department, and the new guidelines “better reflect the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s science-based Travel Health Notices.”
“As always, we are closely monitoring conditions around the globe, and will regularly update our destination-specific advice to U.S. travelers as conditions evolve,” the State Department said. Oftentimes, however, it appears that State isn’t communicating with the countries that it has on its lists and actual conditions are not accurately represented on them.
The CDC has one system of rating the risks by country while the State Department has another, producing different travel alert levels for the same country in many cases. Mexico has a Level 4 from the CDC (meaning avoid all travel) but a Level 3 from the State Department (meaning “reconsider travel.” The Bahamas was just raised to a Level 4 by the CDC and is a level 3 on the State Department scale, even though Bahamian officials say their infections and deaths are way down (they are even getting ready to host cruises).
Make no mistake, a rationalization of the State and CDC list of countries will help, at least to some extent. But both lists would appear to need far more accurate information on the COVID-19 risks involved for these countries than what is currently being used.
Source: Insider Travel Report