US Health Agency Ends Country-Specific COVID Travel Notices

FILE - Passengers wait in line at the security checkpoint at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, April 19, 2022, in Arlington, Va.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Monday it had ended its COVID-19 country travel health notices as fewer countries reported enough data for accurate assessments.

In April, the CDC dropped its "Do Not Travel" COVID-19 recommendations for about 90 international destinations, saying it would reserve its Level 4 travel health notices "for special circumstances." Level 4 calls for all Americans avoiding travel because of COVID-19, even those who are fully vaccinated.

The CDC said Monday "as fewer countries are testing or reporting COVID-19 cases, the CDC’s ability to accurately assess the COVID-19 (travel health notice) levels for most destinations that American travelers visit is limited."

Since April, the notices have drawn little attention since the CDC was not issuing blanket recommendations against travel for specific countries.

As recently as March, the CDC recommended against travel to about 120 countries and territories worldwide, or more than half of all destinations.

The notices had deterred some Americans from travel and on occasion sparked consternation in some countries. A recommendation not to travel to Japan in May 2021, months before the Olympics drew wide attention.

The CDC said Monday it will only post a travel health notice "for a country if a situation, such as a concerning COVID-19 variant, is identified that changes CDC travel recommendations for that country."