TRAVEL

Which countries are in the ‘Level 4: Do not travel' category?

The CDC and State Department have revised their travel advice, adding another four nations to the 'Do not travel' list as the Delta variant continues to cause concern.

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Which countries are in the ‘Level 4: Do not travel' category?
JAVIER TORRES AFP

There had been hopes that the United States would be able to reopen the borders to allow foreign travel this year but with the Delta variant of covid-19 tearing through the nation that may not be possible.

The US is one of a number of countries struggling to contain the much more aggressive variant and authorities have been forced to tighten travel restrictions on a number of potential holiday destinations.

On Monday, 26 July the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new advisories for five nations, raising their danger level:

  • Cyprus (Level 4: Do not travel)
  • Israel (Level 3: Reconsider travel)
  • Kyrgyzstan (Level 4: Do not travel)
  • Portugal (Level 4: Do not travel)
  • Spain (Level 4: Do not travel)

Of those included in the amendments Portugal and Spain are particularly popular tourist destinations, further limiting the options for trip abroad this summer. They join a number of other countries traditionally popular with travellers on the 'Do not travel' list: Argentina, Brazil, the Maldives, the Netherlands, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

For the full list of travel destinations and their risk level check out the State Department advisories.

White House is unlikely to lift restrictions in the near future

Reflecting on the changes made to travel restrictions imposed by the CDC, in late July the White House confirmed that there were no plans to loosen them in the near future. Reuters reported that a senior level White House meeting decided that there was no evidence suggesting that they could be safely removed in the short term.

"Given where we are today ... with the Delta variant, we will maintain existing travel restrictions at this point," said White House spokesperson Jen Psaki. "Driven by the Delta variant, cases are rising here at home, particularly among those who are unvaccinated and appear likely continue to increase in the weeks ahead."

This comes as a blow for the ailing travel industry which had hoped that this summer would bring about a renaissance after a barren 2020. The US Homeland Security Department has confirmed that land borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed for all non-essential travel until 21 August at the earliest.

The new guidance came as a result of the rising cases numbers which have been attributed to the Delta variant. Unfortunately in the week since those changes were made the seven-day average of covid-19 cases has risen from 56,987 to 79,763.