State Department to Add More Than 100 Countries to ‘Do Not Travel’ List As COVID-19 Continues to Spread

State Department to Add More Than 100 Countries to 'Do Not Travel' List As COVID-19 Continues to Spread

Currently, the department classifies 34 countries as “Level 4: Do Not Travel.”

 The U.S. State Department is warning against international travel as it plans to add dozens of countries to its highest travel advisory classification to stem the spread of COVID-19.


In total, Reuters reported about 80% of the world is expected to be raised to Level 4, adding nearly 130 countries to the State Department’s highest designation.


Currently, the department classifies 34 countries as “Level 4: Do Not Travel,” including Brazil, Iraq, Syria, Russia, North Korea, and Kenya. Now, the State Department plans to add scores more, which it said would put the department more in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations by destination.


For its part, the CDC classifies 141 destinations as “Level 4: COVID-19 Very High.”


“As travelers face ongoing risks due COVID-19, we have updated our Travel Advisories to better reflect @CDC’s science-based Travel Health Notices,” the State Department tweeted on Monday. “We also considered logistics like testing availability and travel restrictions for U.S. citizens.”


The decision comes weeks after the CDC announced that fully vaccinated people can travel with low risk to themselves, including internationally, and do not need to quarantine when they return home unless required by their local jurisdiction. Those who return from an international trip are still required to get tested within three days of boarding a flight to the U.S., regardless of their vaccination status, and should still get re-tested upon returning home.


The State Department, which lifted its Level 4: Global Health Advisory against international travel in August 2020, now assesses countries on a country-by-country basis, much like it did pre-pandemic.


A spokesperson for Airlines for America, which represents major U.S. airlines, told Reuters “the U.S. airline industry has been a strong advocate for the development of a risk-based, data-driven roadmap for restoring international travel.”


The spokesperson added the group continues “to urge the federal government to transparently establish the criteria – including clear metrics, benchmarks, and a timeline – for reopening international markets.”


Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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The Top 10 Summer 2021 Destinations

The Top 10 Summer 2021 Destinations

As vaccines continue to roll out across the country, Americans are feeling ready to travel, with many looking to summer 2021 as the time for their first trip since the pandemic. Whether you’re looking for some inspiration for a popular vacation destination (or you just want to know where to stay away from in order to avoid the crowds), this list can help.

Travel insurance company Allianz Partners analyzed more than 985,000 flight itineraries for trips between five to eight days in length to find the hottest summer vacation destinations for 2021. Surprisingly, vacation patterns haven’t changed much—Orland, Florida and Cancun, Mexico ranked as the most popular domestic and international destinations for the fifth year in a row. 

 However, for the first time in this survey, four of the top 10 destinations are in Hawaii, indicating that Americans are looking to take a big, bucket-list type trip without having to worry about international travel restrictions. (Note: Hawaii is still requiring a negative COVID-19 test in order to skip a mandatory quarantine, even for fully vaccinated travelers.)


The Top 10 Summer 2021 Domestic Travel Destinations

Orlando, Florida

Maui, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii

Seattle, Washington

Anchorage, Alaska

Las Vegas, Nevada

Kauai, Hawaii

Big Island, Hawaii

Boston, Massachusetts

Miami, Florida


The Top 10 Summer 2021 International Travel Destinations

Cancun, Mexico

San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico

Aruba, Aruba

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Charlotte Amalie, U.S. Virgin Islands,

Montego Bay, Jamaica

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Nassau, Bahamas

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