US CDC Eases Travel Restrictions For 110 Countries, Including Hong Kong
After months of closed borders and tight travel restrictions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has finally eased their travel recommendations for over 110 countries and territories with Singapore moving to its safest level.
The CDC's new regulations, which were posted on their website this week, saw 61 counties move down from its highest level four rating. Another 50 countries saw their rankings lowered to level two or one.
The CDC's guidelines essentially require all travellers to be fully vaccinated. It then separates countries by four different levels.
These are all the key countries and territories and the levels they fall under.
Level 4: "Very high" Covid-19 risk alert
According to the CDC, you should "avoid travel to these destinations. If you must travel to these destinations, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel".
Some of these countries include Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, India, Iraq, the Netherlands, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and Sweden.
Level 3: "High" alert
"Make sure you are fully vaccinated before travelling to these destinations. Unvaccinated travellers should avoid nonessential travel to these destinations," says the CDC.
Some of these countries include Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
Level 2: "Moderate" alert
The CDC also advised that you should "make sure you are fully vaccinated before travelling to these destinations".
It added: "Unvaccinated travellers who are at increased risk for severe illness from Covid-19 should avoid nonessential travel to these destinations."
Some of these countries include Bhutan, Cambodia, Finland, Guam, Kenya, Mauritius and Uganda.
Level 1: "Low" alert
"Make sure you are fully vaccinated before travelling to these destinations," says the CDC.
Some of these countries include Australia, Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Israel, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam.
One notable change is that of Japan. On May 24, the State Department issued a statement discouraging people from travelling to Japan. Their announcement came as the country saw a new wave of Covid-19 cases. This is worrying because the Tokyo Olympics are just around the corner and it is due to start on July 23.
Despite the State department's warnings, the White House has reaffirmed its support for Tokyo’s plan to hold the games this summer.
So far, foreign spectators have been banned from watching the games though a decision has yet to be made on domestic viewers.
The agency said that they had decided to lower the ratings of many countries "because of the criteria changes or because their outbreaks are better controlled".
The CDC added that they are continuing to monitor real-time data to decide how the travel restrictions for different countries should be managed.