CDC Eases Travel Recommendations for Over 100 Countries

Specifically, the CDC moved 61 countries down from its highest "Level 4" travel warning.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased COVID-19-related travel warnings on more than 100 countries and territories this week, offering hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel for international travel.

As part of its reclassification, the CDC moved 61 countries down from its highest "Level 4" warning, Reuters reported, and moved another 50 countries and territories to "Level 2" or "Level 1."

Countries with the lowest levels of COVID-19 - and the CDC's lowest warning level - include popular tourist destinations that welcome vaccinated American travelers like Iceland, Israel, and St. Barts. It also includes countries like Australia and New Zealand, which have enacted some of the strictest travel restrictions in the world.

Additionally, several European countries have been classified as "Level 3," indicating there is a high incidence of COVID-19 ahead of the EU's plan to welcome vaccinated foreign tourists this summer. The classification also includes several countries that have already started allowing U.S. travelers to enter like Italy, Greece, Spain, and France.

Travelers wait in line to board a flight
Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty

Japan, which plans to host the summer Olympic Games next month, has been moved from "Level 4" to "Level 3," according to the CDC. Some areas of Japan remain under lockdown.

The changes come after the CDC changed the criteria it uses to classify countries, the wire service noted. Now, the agency designates a destination as "Level 4" if there are 500 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, rather than 100 cases per 100,000 people.

While warnings against many countries have been lowered, the CDC still classifies several destinations under its highest warning level, including Croatia and the Maldives, which are each welcoming U.S. tourists.

Beyond the CDC, the State Department has eased its warnings for 85 countries and territories, Reuters reported, including Japan.

Non-essential travel for non-U.S. citizens is still largely banned from several areas around the globe, including the EU, UK, Brazil, South Africa, and India.

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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