USA eases "Do Not Travel" advisory for Japan ahead of Tokyo Olympics

US lowers travel advisory for S. Korea to lowest Level 1

US lowers travel advisory for S. Korea to lowest Level 1

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended eased travel recommendations for more than 110 countries and territories - including South Africa.

South Africa has now been ranked at level 3 by the organisation - alongside countries such as France, Mexico, Canada and Russian Federation. Countries ranked lowest for COVID-19 risks now include Singapore, Israel, South Korea, Iceland, Belize and Albania.

The State Department or the CDC did not provide reasons for the downward revision.

Such travel advice has been closely watched for clues on when the United States will ease restrictions in place for more than a year on travel from European nations.

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 State Department issued an advisory asking Americans to reconsider travel due to the risk of Covid-19, upgrading a blanket warning earlier not to go.

The CDC said the change came after it revised its criteria for travel health notices.

The United States also said Tuesday it will hold talks with Canada, Mexico, the European Union and Britain on how to restart worldwide travel.

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Other countries for which United States travel advice was eased include close allies such as France and Germany as well as Greece, which has been welcoming vaccinated USA tourists, and South Africa, which has battled a Covid variant.

The CDC said it also expects more countries to get lower ratings in the coming weeks, the BBC reported.

If Americans must travel to Bangladesh, they will have to make sure they are fully vaccinated before travel, the CDC said in its updated ratings for countries for travel.

By comparison, there are now 103 moderate restrictions in place on South Africa, where travel is possible, but only if travellers meet certain entry requirements which can include taking Covid-19 tests.

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.

Ahead of Joe Biden's first trip to Europe as president, Jake Sullivan, his national security advisor, said that any easing of travel restrictions would be transparent and "guided by science and evidence".

Reuters reported on Tuesday the Biden administration is forming expert working groups with Canada, Mexico, the European Union and the United Kingdom to determine how best to restart travel safely after 15 months of pandemic restrictions, citing a White House official.

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