CDC maintains Costa Rica travel advisory due to Covid

CDC maintains Costa Rica travel advisory due to Covid

Iceland, Israel and Singapore were moved into the lowest risk category.

"As conditions evolve, we regularly update our advice to U.S. travellers", a State Department official said.

It amounted to the first major relaxation of such warnings since the agency slapped a Level 4 travel advisory on the entire globe in March 2020 as the pandemic gained speed.

The State Department eased its ratings on 85 countries and territories, including Japan.

The only European country for which U.S. travellers are advised to "Exercise Normal Precautions" (Level 1) is Malta, where over 70 per cent of adults have received at least one dose of a vaccine.

Last month, the state department followed the CDC's lead and raised its travel advisory for Japan to Level 4, urging all Americans not to travel to the country.

The US State Department is easing travel advisories for dozens of countries but Ireland remains at the "Do Not Travel" level - the highest alert level.

"Avoid travel to Costa Rica", the CDC says.

The CDC said it also revised its rating for the United States to "Level 3" from "Level 4".

The CDC said it now views Japan as having a "high level of COVID-19 in the country", rather than a "very high level".

The agency added that many countries have lower ratings "because of the criteria changes or because their outbreaks are better controlled". The latest update this week affects 120 countries. The CDC recommends Americans are fully vaccinated before traveling to those places as well as Level 2 countries, which carry a moderate risk.

The country's COVID-19 fatality count is at 22,064.

The United States bars almost all non-U.S. citizens who have within the previous 14 days been to China, the United Kingdom, Ireland, India, South Africa, Brazil, Iran and the 26 Schengen nations in Europe without border controls.

US Travel Association president and chief executive Roger Dow, responding to the Biden administration's plans to form working groups to determine the path to reopening worldwide travel with Canada, the European Union, Mexico and the United Kingdom, said:"This announcement marks an important step forward in our national recovery from the pandemic".

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