urbazon | E + | Getty Images
You may want to reconsider plans to travel abroad.
This is the recommendation from the U.S. Department of State, which this week updated its list of travel advice warnings Americans not to travel overseas to include about 80% of the world’s countries.
The State Department described the risks the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic poses to travelers as “unprecedented” and in an April 19 statement said it “strongly recommends US citizens reconsider all travel abroad.” .
The department said its recommendations will now better reflect the travel health notices issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and will take into account factors such as the availability of tests in the country and travel restrictions for U.S. residents.
More from Personal Finance:
The most popular spots Americans are booking this summer
Top-notch frequent flyer programs can reduce travel costs
This is what travel could look like after a pandemic
“We believe the updated framework will help Americans make more informed decisions about the safety of international travel,” said a State Department official. “We are closely monitoring health and safety conditions around the world and will continue to update our destination-specific information for US travelers as conditions change.”
As a result of the update, 8 out of 10 nations around the world are rated “Level 4: Do Not Travel”. More than 100 countries have been rated at Level 4, including popular destinations such as Canada, France, Mexico and the UK
The nations that have not been downgraded to level 4 are mostly in East Asia, Oceania, and parts of Africa and the Caribbean.
While many countries in the updated list of Level 4 destinations have their own restrictions on travel by foreigners, some allow entry by air with proof of vaccination, negative Covid test, or other criteria. For example, Americans can travel to the UK as long as they test negative within 72 hours of their arrival. You will also need to fill out the documentation and quarantine it for 10 days.
Mexico, meanwhile, allows aircraft to arrive and has no testing requirements, though you may be screened or temperature checked at the airport.
The country has remained popular with Americans throughout the pandemic, despite testing or evidence of recovery upon return to the US
For example, the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, home to resorts like Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum, welcomed nearly 1 million Americans from late 2020 to February.
The Department of State’s advisory system consists of four color-coded levels: Level 1 (blue) – Use normal precautions; Level 2 (yellow) – Exercise increased caution; Level 3 (orange) – rethink the trip; and level 4 (red). The latter is reserved for countries with a “higher likelihood of life-threatening risks” and US citizens are advised not to travel there or leave unless it is safe to do so.
All international targets had been classified as Level 4 at the start of the pandemic in March last year, but the State Department lifted that recommendation in August. However, not one listed nation is currently rated at level 1.
For the latest travel advice, visit the Department of State’s website at Travel.state.gov.