As a judge ruled against a federal mask mandate on board flights in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its COVID-19 guidance for international travel Monday.
The new guidance removes a large swath of countries that were previously under “do not travel” advisories due to a “very high” spread of COVID-19. Instead, the CDC will reserve its Level 4 advisories for “special circumstances.”
“Level 4 will be reserved for special circumstances, such as rapidly escalating case trajectory or extremely high case counts, emergence of a new variant of concern, and healthcare infrastructure collapse,” the CDC said. “Other factors that may be considered include information such as vaccination rate and hospitalization rate. CDC works with country authorities through CDC country or regional offices to gather additional data as appropriate.”
If a nation is placed under a Level 4 advisory, the CDC advises that if someone must travel that they should be up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccination status.
The updated guidance places nearly all of Europe in the Level 3 category for the high spread of COVID-19. In addition to remaining up-to-date with vaccinations, the CDC advises those with weakened immune systems to talk with a clinician before traveling or avoiding the trip altogether.
In addition to nearly all of Europe, a number of popular destinations for Americans, including Canada, Mexico, Brazil and South Korea, remain in the Level 3 category.