"We continue to recommend U.S. citizens exercise caution when traveling abroad due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic,"  they said.

By Christine Burroni
August 06, 2020
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The U.S. State Department has lifted its Level 4 Global Health Advisory against international travel.

The agency, in agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will go back to determining its advisory levels on a country-by-country basis, they announced on Thursday — the method used before the coronavirus pandemic.

"With health and safety conditions improving in some countries and potentially deteriorating in others, the Department is returning to our previous system of country-specific levels of travel advice (with Levels from 1-4 depending on country-specific conditions), in order to give travelers detailed and actionable information to make informed travel decisions," the agency said in a statement. "This will also provide U.S. citizens more detailed information about the current status in each country."

The Level 4 advisory — which advised Americans to avoid all non-essential travel — was put in place on March 19, 2020 as the coronavirus outbreak began to impact the United States.

"We continue to recommend U.S. citizens exercise caution when traveling abroad due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic," they added.

Those looking to travel can consult the State Department's travel advisory search tool to determine which specific countries are deemed safe to visit. It's worth noting that while the State Department and CDC have lifted their overall advisory, Americans are only allowed to visit a handful of countries right now.

When the advisory was first put in place, Americans abroad were encouraged to return home immediately, leading to a scramble in airports all over the world.

Countries throughout Europe and Asia also placed their citizens under similar travel advisories and quarantines throughout the spring of 2020 to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Internal border restrictions in Europe began to be lifted in June.

As the number of coronavirus cases has begun to decreased in some destinations, attractions including Disney theme parks and iconic monuments like the Eiffel Tower have welcomed back visitors. Airlines around the world have also implemented health and safety protocols in the wake of COVID-19.

Christine Burroni is Travel + Leisure’s Digital News Editor. Find her keeping up with just about everything on Twitter at @ChristineBurr or see what she’s up to in NYC or on her latest trip on Instagram at @ChristineBurroni.