Effective immediately, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will no longer issue country-specific COVID-19 travel advisories.
The CDC announced the change on Monday, explaining that as fewer and fewer countries report infection data, the CDC can no longer accurately assess the COVID-19 situation in those destinations. The CDC said it will only now post a health notice under special circumstances, such as a “concerning COVID-19 variant.”
The change is yet another marker in the travel industry’s ascent out of COVID-19.
The CDC had been issuing country-by-country warnings essentially since international travel restarted after the initial shutdown in early 2020. The warnings, which were by infection level in-destination, had initially ranged from the lowest COVID-19 infection rate at Level 1 to a Level 4 warning that advised travelers to “Do Not Travel” to that destination.
That system was then changed in April when the CDC announced it would drop most of the countries in its “Do Not Travel” list, and no longer warn Americans to not travel to certain destinations because of COVID-19. The CDC was still tracking COVID-19 infection numbers at destinations, advising travelers to mask, test, ensure they were vaccinated, or take certain precautions when traveling.
At one point earlier this year, prior to the change, the “Do Not Travel” list included countries such as Canada, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, the U.K., and more of the most popular international travel destinations for Americans.
Currently, the CDC’s travel website includes information on what to do if you should test positive or develop symptoms while traveling internationally, domestically, or on a cruise ship.