WASHINGTON – The federal government is rolling back another of its measures in response to the pandemic.
On Monday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dropped the nationwide COVID-19 travel health advisory it began issuing at the start of the pandemic.
The reason: Fewer countries are testing for the virus or reporting the number of cases of COVID-19. This limits the CDC’s ability to calculate travelers’ risk, according to the agency.
CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said the agency will only post a travel health advisory for an individual country if a situation, such as a worrisome new variant of the virus, changes the CDC’s travel advice for that country.
The CDC continues to recommend that travelers stay up-to-date on vaccines and follow the recommendations found on the international travel page.
This page divides countries into three categories – take normal precautions, take extra precautions or avoid non-essential travel.
Restrictions such as testing and quarantine requirements slowed international travel significantly at the start of the pandemic, but many countries eventually lifted those rules for the fully vaccinated and encouraged people to increase tourism.
In early 2020, before vaccines were available, the United States banned people who had recently been to any of more than three dozen countries. In 2021, the US instead began requiring a negative COVID-19 test shortly before boarding a plane to the US. This rule was eventually overturned as well.
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