CDC ends country-by-country COVID travel guidelines

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WASHINGTON – The federal government is abandoning another of its responses to the pandemic.

On Monday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dropped country by country COVID-19 travel health advice which it started broadcasting at the start of the pandemic.

The reason: Fewer countries are testing for the virus or reporting the number of COVID-19 cases. This limits the CDC’s ability to calculate travelers’ risk, according to the agency.

CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said the agency would only issue a travel health notice for an individual country if a situation such as a troubling new variant of the virus changes the CDC’s travel recommendations for that country. country.

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The CDC always recommends that travelers stay up to date on vaccines and follow the recommendations found on its international travel page.

This page divides countries into three categories: apply usual precautions, enhanced precautions or avoid non-essential travel.

Restrictions such as testing and quarantine requirements dramatically slowed international travel early in the pandemic, but many countries eventually lifted those rules for fully vaccinated people and prompted people to increase tourism.

In early 2020, before vaccines were available, the United States banned people who had recently traveled to one of more than three dozen countries. In 2021, the United States instead began requiring people to test negative for COVID-19 shortly before boarding planes to the United States. This rule has also been dropped.

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