SAN ANTONIO – The U.S. State Department on Thursday dropped its global “Level 4” health advisory that warned people against traveling abroad — a warning put in place since March 19.
Travelers can now use guidance based on country-specific levels (1-4), as conditions “can change rapidly in a country at any time” amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the State Department states.
Nearly every country on the list had their levels updated on Thursday.
They range from “Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions” to “Level 4: Do Not Travel.” A general worldwide caution on travel was issued on Jan. 15.
According to the Associated Press, the department promptly re-imposed the “Level 4″ advisory level on Mexico. Mexico pushed passed 50,000 deaths Thursday and has reported 462,690 confirmed cases of coronavirus infections, far less than the United States.
Mexico had long enjoyed a “Level 2” advisory urging travelers to exercise caution, though some particularly violent states had “do not travel” advisories because of crime, gang shootouts and the risk of kidnapping.
Canada, the U.K., Italy and France have “Level 3: Reconsider Travel” warnings.
While the U.S. has eased up on a general blanket warning, nearly 40 countries have banned U.S. travelers, with exceptions. Those guidelines are subject to change at any time depending on the country’s condition.
The countries with “Level 4″ warnings include:
- Burkina Faso
- Cabo Verde
- Central African Republic
- Costa Rica
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- French Guiana
- North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea)
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Saudi Arabia
- South Sudan
- The Bahamas
- The Kyrgyz Republic
The acceleration of the viral outbreak that began in late June more than doubled the daily U.S. confirmed case count by mid-July. The rate of new reported cases has since declined.